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Sunday, May 19, 2024

The New Slovenian Covenant calls on the country to prepare a register of victims of communist violence against Slovenians

By: Ana Horvat (Nova24TV.si)

The New Slovenian Covenant regrets the current government’s decision to cancel the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and calls on the country to officially acknowledge that “our dead once existed”. In a public appeal, they called on the state to prepare a publicly available record of victims of communist violence against Slovenians. They believe that it is not possible to be neutral about the crime, because by rejecting it we confirm it, and in this case, they note with anxiety that the Government, by abolishing the day of remembrance, is relativising the crimes of communism against Slovenians, and thereby silently confirming them.

“By registering the victims in the register, the state should ensure not only elementary justice for all the deceased, but also show them basic respect by officially recognising that these persons once lived and are now deceased,” the representatives of the New Slovenian Covenant wrote, among other things, in a public announcement.

“It was with regret that we accepted the news that the Government of the Republic of Slovenia cancelled May 17th, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism, and thus repressively suppressed the public commemoration of the crimes of the revolution in Slovenian society,” they wrote in the introduction and explained that it was a painful act, which expresses “contempt for Slovenians who were tortured and killed by communist partisans”. They are convinced that it is an offensive act, not only to the victims, but also to the affected relatives both at home and abroad, and it represents an additional blow to them. They add that the government thereby belittled the victims, which can be dangerous. They believe that it is not possible to be neutral about crime, because by rejecting it, we confirm it. In this case, they note with anxiety that the Government is relativising the crimes of communism against Slovenians by abolishing the day of remembrance and is thereby silently approving them.

“Citizens of Slovenia, on the just cancelled National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism, in respect of the suffering and unjust death of these victims, note that with the current political power, no progress is possible towards condemning the crimes of the revolution as wasteful acts, there is no possible step towards regretting these crimes and towards moral rehabilitation victims as innocent”, they wrote and called on the state to demonstrate in action whether it is capable of at least minimal, official recognition that “our dead once existed: prepare a publicly available record of victims of communist violence against Slovenians”, they wrote.

They are convinced that the state must take the burden of proving the death of loved ones off the shoulders of their relatives and do it themselves ex officio, since many victims do not even have relatives. They call on the state to provide not only elementary justice to the deceased, but also to show them basic respect by officially recognising that these persons once lived and are now deceased.

This imposes a legal obligation on the Republic of Slovenia

They state that the Republic of Slovenia has a legal duty to do so by the “Act on the Ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” (MKZVOPI), which entered into force on November 20th, 2021. In the legal language of this convention, revolutionary killings are the cause of the enforced disappearance of thousands and thousands of persons, which the convention defines as a crime, which the state must investigate and provide an official report on. Victims of enforced disappearance also have the right to moral satisfaction: the state must take care of their “(b) rehabilitation; (c) satisfaction, which also includes the return of dignity and reputation” (Article 24).

“Just as the victims of Nazism in cultured nations are mourned by everyone, of all professions, of all political orientations, old and young; we must also achieve remorse for the victims of communism, old and young, people of all political orientations and all professions. This is how the evil of history will be defeated,” they are convinced, so they appeal to the government and ask them, “to think of all Slovenians and to stop the destructive slide into toleration of crime. The state of Slovenia should take the first step towards this with a public register of victims of communist violence. Although there are many more victims, we are handing over to the state the list of 14,901 killed persons in the book Farne memorial plaques I-III,” they concluded.

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