Parliamentary body rejects proposals on student protesters

Ljubljana – The Commission for Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities rejected on Wednesday all opposition-sponsored proposals regarding police procedures against students and their parents who protested in support of the reopening of schools.

Andrej Černigoj from the coalition New Slovenia (NSi) said the commission was not authorised to call on police to stop proceedings against the students and parents.

The commission can also not assess whether a ban on rallies is constitutional or not, only the Constitutional Court can do that, he said.

The commission thus also rejected the proposal for the government to lift the ban on rallies. However, the government did lift the ban for up to ten people at the session today.

The debate on the “inadmissible police repression against parents and students” had been demanded by the opposition Left.

Primož Siter from the party said that the police had been issuing fines to protesters after the rallies, which was not in line with the offences act, which says that fines must be issued on the spot.

He said the most problematic was police procedure related to the protest of students that was held in Maribor on 9 February. The protesters were fined after the protest although they had worn protective masks and kept safety distance at the rally.

Alojz Sladič from the General Police Administration rejected accusation about excessive use of force and police intimidations. He said the task of the police was to monitor unreported rallies and act upon violations.

He said fewer police officers than usual had been present at the rallies and that a special police unit had not been activated.

He said he allowed for the possibility of irregularities in any of the proceedings and that those who felt they had not been treated right should lodge a complaint.

The Left also requested the commission to say that the current ban on rallies is unconstitutional. Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina agreed today that the ban was controversial.

He said a way of protesting should be found that does not pose a serious risk of transmitting the virus and than this type of protest should be allowed.

After reviewing the epidemiological situation in the country at its today’s session the government decided to allow rallies of up to 10 people. This is how many people have been allowed to gather so far.