Report sees Slovenia narrowing civil freedoms

Ljubljana – CIVICUS, an international organisation of NGOs, has downgraded eleven countries, including Slovenia, in its latest report on civic freedoms in the world. It has put Slovenia among the countries where freedoms have narrowed in 2020, Slovenia’s Centre for Information, Cooperation and Development of NGOs (CNVOS) said on Wednesday.

Slovenia was downgraded because fundamental freedoms such as the right to assembly and the freedom of expression have narrowed under the Janaz Janša government, says the report by CIVICUS Monitor, which is termed People Power Under Attack 2020.

The report points to worrying attempts at limiting the freedom of the press in Slovenia, including with threats to journalists and independent media.

It also points to attacks on groups and NGOs from the fields of culture, human rights, freedom of the press and the environment.

The report says the authorities have tried to use the Covid-19 epidemic as an excuse to further limit the civil society, foremost by reducing funding and hindering environmental NGOs.

CIVICUS Monitor says that similar instances of limiting the civil society and the media can be seen in other European countries, including Hungary, Poland and Serbia.

CIVICUS Monitor monitors basic freedoms in 196 countries. Until now, Slovenia was among the countries with an open civil society arena.

Now it has been put among the countries with a narrowed space, meaning basic freedoms are being limited.

These freedoms have also narrowed this year in the US, Chile, the Philippines and Iraq, CIVICUS, which is based in South Africa, says on its website.