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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Jože Biščak, editor in chief of the weekly magazine Demokracija: An open letter to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) at the Council of Europe

I am writing to you because in the European Commission’s Report against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) by the Council of Europe (HERE) referring to Slovenia, there are mentioned weekly magazine Demokracija, where I am the editor-in-chief, and as patriotic and a freelance man who loves freedom, his homeland, Slovenia and Europe.

You have noted that the report is the result of analyses made on the basis of a large amount of information collected from a wide range of sources. I fully understand that you refer to official sources (the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the police or the Ombudsman), that is to say, institutions that have power and influence, collecting data ex officio, but how much your range is really wide has been shown in media (paragraph 38), where you refer exclusively to one journalist society, although in Slovenia there are several journalistic associations and associations that differ in their views and opinions from the one you are referring to. It is the same with non-governmental organizations, where I cannot get rid of the feeling that they have been carefully selected only so that their findings and opinions are in line with your expectations to justify your existence and spending taxpayer money.

That is why your report is shameful, unilateral and biased. The report has nothing to do with democracy, which you like to refer to, has nothing to do with human rights, it still has less to do with freedom – that value that made the western world for the most magnificent civilization and put it in first place in human history. Freedom does not only mean that you are not deprived of liberty. Freedom is much more, it means that you have the right to act and freely express your opinions, without worrying that someone, especially authority from the position of political power, would be restrained. Your vocabulary in the report is far from this. It is the poisonous language of totalitarianism, which calls for the punishment of all who think differently.

What you write is a monologue. The document is clearly ideologically and politically colored, it has no connection with freedom. With democracy maybe, but this democracy is only according to your taste, it is made to your extent, it is the reflection of your vision of democracy. What is understandable in our understanding is that democracy is only a form and mode of governance, which does not yet guarantee freedom. That is why you have liberality in language only, liberalism for you means you look at matters exclusively from one side. And then you make a point and The End. For you, there is no other opinion, there is no other view. Everything that is not in accordance with your globalist agenda and the actions against the sovereign nations of Europe, among which we the Slovenes are, is the so-called hate speech for you. What you are doing is not a dialogue. This is a monologue in which you see only one side of the medal in the name of liberal, democratic and free-thinking thought, because your view does not go further. In doing so, you stubbornly insist on and urge the Slovenian government to prosecute and severely punish all those who, in particular, do not think and act in the same way as you have imagined, especially as regards illegal migrations and LGBT ideologies.

There is too much nonsense in your report to deal with everyone. I will concentrate mainly on your opinion that the so-called hate speech in Slovenia is not sufficiently prosecuted and punished. In your report, there is an indignation about the Slovenian Article 297 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Slovenia. Why? This article defines punishment for those who allegedly inflate hatred, violence or intolerance based on ethnic, racial, religious or ethnic affiliation, sex, skin colour or other beliefs. The same are punishable those who deny or diminish the significance of the Holocaust or the crimes against humanity. This article has a safeguard, which in some way protects the freedom of expression of the people against abuse of power. Namely, under this article, only those who threaten public order and peace can be punished, or do so by using a threat. You see this as a safeguard or in other words as a fulfilment of a condition for punishment or as an obstacle to the effective persecution of otherwise thinking people. You are inviting the government to eliminate this disadvantage or obstacle. You think that this is the reason that in Slovenia examples of hate speech are almost never prosecuted. Even more. From the 33rd point, it is regrettable that Slovenia, when leaving Yugoslavia, renounced the infamous Article 133 of the Criminal Code of the SFRJ, since it would be easier to persuade other people with this formulation of “verbal delict”.

Are you totally out of your mind? How could something like that occur in your report? Do you even know how many people were beastly persecuted or murdered for the sake of Article 133? Do you even know that almost 2 million people have been killed by Tito and his communist regime in the former Yugoslavia after the Second World War? And that exclusively because they were of a different opinion than a monolithic and totalitarian power system. And you would now like to return Slovenia back, again, to accept an Article similar to the notorious Article 133, and thus begin to prosecute and punish everything that will not be in line with your agenda. You can be ashamed and also ashamed can be the ones that dictated you this report.

And so on… Your intellectual perversion really has no boundaries. Paragraph 15 states that there is no visible progress in taking into account ECRI’s proposals on the prohibition of public funding by organizations that promote alleged racism, including political parties. And that the possibility of dissolving such organizations has not yet been enacted. Based on your writing and understanding of racism, you expect that in Slovenia patriotic organizations and political parties will be banned. It is heart-breaking that today, anyone who respects the national symbols, believes in a national identity and cultivates love for the homeland, is marked as a nationalist or racist. It is still missing only a bit and also national languages will be labelled as undesirable and also a national flag displayed above the house, which emphasizes national awareness, will become a symbol of xenophobia.

Weekly magazine Demokracija and Nova24TV are already labelled as racists and homophobic. Exclusively, because they emphasize patriotism, because they oppose illegal migration and fight against indoctrination with the LGBT agenda. They do not deny anyone the right to say that he lives in the way he suits and to declare even so retarded ideas, but as a journalist and editor, I take the right to say my own opinion, and that I freely spread my ideas, even if one of the groups (or any of the individuals) is offended or affected by it. It is not a human right not to be offended, but freedom of speech is a fundamental human right.

In paragraph 32, you are applauding to the Slovenian Prime Minister, Marjan Sarec, who called all state-owned companies not to advertise in certain patriotic media any more. If you think this is OK and in line with democracy and freedom, it does not seem OK to me. This is a typical abuse of power from a position of political power that has nothing to do in a normal and free country. The call of Mr. Sharec, which has the highest executive power in the country, is harmful, scandalous and embarrassing and has a direct intervention in a free enterprise initiative and on advertising market. In any case, his statement is the worst attack on freedom of expression after Slovenia’s independence, and in direct contravention of the Constitution. And instead of condemning such attacks on freedom and democracy, the Council of Europe in cheerfully clapping to him.

Your report seriously undermines the future possibilities of free exchange of views and opinions. I’m going to fight against this. I will never allow people in the Council of Europe to set and define the limits of freedom of speech. This limit, which must be highly placed, can only be determined legally. You yourself have come to know this, but instead you still press on the Slovenian government to change the legislation according to your taste. I understand this as an attack on freedom, as an attempt to create a tyranny, as your desire for people in fear of law enforcement to resort to self-censorship.

That is why your speech on freedom in human rights is only an empty expression, which refers only that you are political corrective activists, who are trying to silence any critique of migration, Islam and the LGBT agenda. In fact, you do not fight against discrimination and intolerance; you are fighting against those who ask you to criticize and defend your culture, your tradition, your family and your nation. And you try to silence people, for then there will be no one who will defend the traditional values of the European nations. Is this your mission? In the name of what and whom?

In the name of freedom, on behalf of Slovenia and on behalf of Europe, I do not have a moral right to just shrug my shoulders regarding your report. It is my duty to draw attention loud and clear not only on your mistakes, but your deliberate misleading’s and manipulation, on the deliberate destruction of what is pleasing to us all, on the attempts to deny the ones who took care that the Slovenes survived as a nation for centuries. If I had acted differently, if I squeezed the tail between my legs and was quiet, I would betray myself and my beliefs, I would betray my own people, who are threaten with great danger due to uncontrolled and illegal migrations, I would betray other nations of Europe (with whom in history we also been in warfare, but we always find a way to peace), which today are sharing with us a similar fate.

That would be a great betrayal. That’s why I will not be quiet. And even though you are the kind of people who claim to support freedom of expression, on the other hand, you will not hesitate to push the views of others through violent means. And I’m not just talking about harmful eccentricities in the Council of Europe, but about the orchestrated campaign and the attack of official international institutions of Europe on the fundamental human freedoms and values. The reflection of this is a shameful report about Slovenia, which I reject with disgust.

Mr. Jože Biscak, editor in chief of the weekly magazine Demokracija

Translate by Samo J.


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