Slovenian left slams rising police repression under right-wing government

The Left in Slovenia, Levica, demanded the immediate resignation of interior minister Ales Hojs, who is being held directly responsible for police violence and excessive use of force against anti-government protesters in capital Ljubljana

October 22, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Police violence - Slovenia

The left-wing political party in Slovenia, Levica, has intensified its protest against police repression in the country. On Wednesday, October 20, Levica along with other opposition parties, protested against minister of interior Ales Hojs, holding him responsible for creating an emergency situation in the capital Ljubljana by repressing the anti-government protests using excessive police force. Levica accused the Janez Jansa-led right-wing coalition government of using police repression to quell the continuing protests against unpopular governance in the country. 

The right-wing government has mounted repeated attacks on activists, cultural workers, NGOs, intellectuals and the media. On October 5, the police attacked anti-government protesters in Ljubljana using water cannons and tear gas. Police personnel were also seen violently attacking protesters and pedestrians. Since then, Levica has been protesting against police brutality and the interior minister for repressing the popular protests.

On Wednesday, in their petition against Hojs, Levica accused him of being responsible for creating an emergency situation in the country and using excessive police violence at the protests in Ljubljana. The petition also criticized him for introducing unconstitutional restrictions on human rights by activating Article 9 of the law on tasks and police powers, the illegal politicization and militarization of the police, and  his negative attitude towards the general public, protestors, police employees, union representatives, media, and human rights protectors. It accused him of unconstitutional and illegal behavior, with threats of cancellation of employment to union representatives and police officers who warn of irregularities. 

MP Luka Mesec from the Levica leadership said that “If the government wanted to calm down the public, it would do the opposite as it did last week. They closed the capital, tried to ban protests completely, and for the first time in Slovenian history, we saw the persecution of protesters with water cannons and tear gas. Ljubljana was a war zone.”

“This government has shown that it can only rule in one way – and that is using force. Minister Hojs, who is directly responsible for police violence and excessive use of force, should resign. Also prime minister Janez Jansa, who is responsible for the way this government works,” he added

Earlier also, the Jansa-led government was widely criticized for its bid to increase military spending instead of strengthening public health care during the pandemic, diluting environmental regulations and attacking workers rights. 

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