Maribor – Some 100 people rallied peacefully in front of the Maribor District Court on Thursday as the first student ordered to appear in front of a magistrate because she took part in a protest demanding the reopening of schools in February was due in court.
At the rally on 9 February in Maribor, the police issued fines to six persons and ordered three minors to appear in front of a magistrate over alleged violations of the communicable diseases act.
All three minors are students of the II. Gimnazija Maribor secondary school, with headteacher Ivan Lorenčič saying today “these are young people, who demanded nothing more than the right to go to school. They adhered to all regulations and there were no riots.”
Lorenčič was among those who gathered in front of the court today for the rally, which was accompanied by a strong police presence.
Also there was assistant professor Emilija Stojmenova Duh, who was one of the people fined at the 9 February rally.
“There are so many police officers here today one would think she perpetrated a gruesome criminal act. But all the girl wanted was school. I can’t believe this is the country we live in,” Stojmenova Duh said.
Another participant at the rally today said the police were punishing children. “We’re raising them to be critical, but the state is telling them the opposite… It is unacceptable that they have been sanctioned.”
The magistrate has not made a decision today, with the student’s lawyer Dino Bauk telling the press he proposed the procedure be dropped.
Another student is scheduled to appear in front of a magistrate next week, while the third is yet to receive a court date.