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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Slovenia

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 March 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Slovenia, 14 March 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747ced1f.html [accessed 13 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Acts of harassment against members of the Helsinki Monitor of Slovenia

Judicial proceedings against Ms. Neva Miklavcic-Predan65

Ms. Neva Miklavcic-Predan, president of the Helsinki Monitor of Slovenia (HMS), remained under prosecution in four criminal cases, facing a total sentence of six years and three months in prison.

– In January 2005, Ms. Neva Miklavcic-Predan had been informed that the Prosecutor of the Ljubljana district had requested the initiation of proceedings against her in 2004 for "defamation" (Articles 171/1, 2 and 3 of the Criminal Code). The proceedings followed a complaint filed in 2003 by the Union of Veterans of the Slovenian War of Independence, a pro-governmental organisation, in relation to the organisation by Ms. Miklavcic-Predan of a press conference on May 28, 2003, during which it was stated that the Vic/Holmec case and the assassination of three soldiers of the Yugoslav national army in 1991 could be considered war crimes. Two hearings in this case were held on February 14 and April 4, 2006 before the Ljubljana District Court.

On May 30, 2006, Ms. Miklavcic-Predan was discharged for lack of evidence. However, on July 13, 2006, Mr. Nikolaja Hodzic, District Prosecutor, lodged an appeal that was subsequently supported by the State Prosecutor on October 17, 2006.

On June 27, 2006, Mr. Janez Jansa, Prime Minister, requested that repressive measures be taken against Ms. Neva Miklavcic-Predan and her organisation and accused her of being "mentally-ill", of "blackmailing the government" and disseminating "absurd and pathological lies".

– In August 2005, Ms. Miklavcic-Predan had also been accused of "corruption" for allegedly offering a bribe of 2,000 Deutschmarks (about 1,020 euros) during a phone call with an officer of the Ministry of the Interior in order to obtain Slovenian nationality for a Roma. Ms. Miklavcic-Predan expressed her wish to conduct her own defence through "passive resistance", i.e. by refraining from attending the hearings, communicating with the Court or benefiting from legal counsel, as she was convinced that the procedures initiated against her were politically motivated.

On November 4, 2005, the judge rejected the request to initiate proceedings against Ms. Miklavcic-Predan. However, on May 24, 2006, the court consented to prosecute Ms. Miklavcic-Predan after the District Prosecutor appealed his ruling. Ms. Miklavcic-Predan was liable to a sentence of three years' imprisonment.

The date of the next hearing was still undetermined by the end of 2006.

– A third procedure had been initiated in October 2005 by the judge of the Ljubljana Local Court, who had declared herself offended by Ms. Miklavcic-Predan's remarks and intention to resort to passive resistance. She was accused of committing a "criminal attack on honour and reputation" (Article 169-1 of the Criminal Code), amended by Article 178-2 which provides that proceedings are to be initiated when the charges under Article 169-1 are made against a State body or representative or a military officer in the exercise of his/her functions. No hearing had yet been scheduled in this case by the end of 2006.

– Finally, on July 27, 2006, a new procedure was opened on the request of the District Prosecutor for "attack on the dignity of the Republic of Slovenia" (Article 174 of the Criminal Code), after HMS organised a press conference on July 11, 2006 in reaction to the defamatory remarks of the Prime Minister against Ms. Miklavcic-Predan following her acquittal in the Vic-Holmec case. A day after the press conference, Ms. Miklavcic-Predan was summoned to appear before the criminal police department. An association of veterans had filed a complaint, which accused her of making statements attacking the dignity of Slovenia in an interview with the British daily The Independent on April 11, 2006.

Acts of intimidation against HMS and its members

In 2006, several members of the Committee received phone calls threatening them and aiming at dissuading them from carrying out their activities within the organisation.

Furthermore, on June 28 and November 7, 2006, HMS received warning of the potential confiscation of its equipment to repay the expenses of the Ministry of Justice in a trial initiated by the organisation against the Ministry regarding the forced eviction of a family on January 8, 1999. HMS had never been informed of the verdict and appealed against the warning.

Finally, on October 30, 2006, the Ministry of the Interior refused HMS renewal of its statute as an association of general interest, under the pretext that the organisation did not run projects in favour of public interest.


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

65. See Urgent Appeals SVN 001/0406/OBS 040 and 040.1.

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