By: C. R.
The parliamentary group of the Slovenian Democratic Party requests the convening of an urgent meeting of the Committee for Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Local Self-Government to discuss the following point: “Disproportionate interference by the Police in the right to peaceful assembly and expression of opinions”.
The Farmers’ Union of Slovenia and other non-governmental agricultural organisations have announced a nationwide protest by farmers in Ljubljana for Tuesday, April 25th, 2023. They cited the unwillingness of politics to listen to farmers and take action to enable farmers to farm.
Following this announcement, on Friday, April 21st, 2023, information circulated on social networks that the Police had visited farms prior to the announced farmers’ protest and inquired how many farmers planned to bring tractors to Ljubljana for the aforementioned all-Slovenian farmers’ protest.
The holder of an agricultural activity from the area of the Municipality of Ljubljana announced on a social network that the Police visited him and asked him if he intended to participate in the protest. They also asked him if he knew anyone else who would participate in the said protest. Information that police officers are visiting farmers these days and asking them whether they will take part in the all-Slovenian farmers’ protest in Ljubljana with tractors or not, and questioning citizens about whether they know who will take part in the protest, comes from various areas of Slovenia. “In our opinion, this is a pure abuse of police powers,” SDS wrote in response.
“The proposers of the emergency meeting assess that the conduct of the Police is an impermissible interference with the constitutional right to freedom of movement (Article 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia), protection of personal data (Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia), the right to personal dignity and security (Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia ), and freedom of expression (Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia).”
In connection with such behaviour of the Police against citizens, it is worth recalling the statement of the President of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, who at the 3rd extraordinary session on June 1st, 2022, said, among other things: “I promise, Mr. Golob, that I will be the first to speak up if you send the Police against the protesters with water cannons, tear gas, batons or in any other way.” Among other things, she also said that the right to protest is a constitutional right and that no one will disperse the protesters.
“Such conduct of the Police affects the level of trust in its work, its good name and reputation. Such conduct also does not comply with the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, which regulates the right to peaceful assembly and expression of opinions, the Act on Public Assemblies, the Act on Tasks and Powers of the Police, by-laws, and the Code of Police Ethics,” SDS further informs.