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The President Awarded An Activist Who Incited Migrants To Come To Slovenia

As we have already reported, President of the Republic Nataša Pirc Musar recently awarded the left-wing activist Katarina Bervar Sternad with the Presidential Award for Human Rights Work. Perhaps it is time to recall Bervar Sternad’s most controversial act, undermining not only the Slovenian legal order but even Schengen itself.

Bervar Sternad, as Director of the PIC Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (Pravno-informacijski center – PIC), was involved in one of the most blatant attempts to help smuggling rings in the Balkans. Migrants who were arrested by Slovenian police officers while illegally crossing the Croatian-Slovenian border said that Slovenian NGOs had already distributed brochures in English to them in Velika Kladuša with detailed plans on how to get to Slovenia and even how to lie (!) and manipulate Slovenian law enforcement authorities for the possibility of obtaining international protection or asylum status.

Last year, the Civil Initiative against the Migrant Centre in Bela krajina published a facsimile of a note which shows that on the 21st of August 2018, at 7:19 p.m., they received a phone call from the recipient of the President’s Award, Katarina Bervar Sternad. She is the director of the Ljubljana Peace Institute (Mirovni inštitut), which is privately owned, and one of the owners is also Darko Štrajn from Črnomelj, Bela krajina (now living in Ljubljana). The Institute is also the co-owner of several other institutions, which are supposed to operate as NGOs and, as such, are also funded with taxpayers’ money and also from the funds of the billionaire George Soros, whose NGOs are purposely created to import migrants to the European Union.

The director ordered the police around and threatened to file a criminal complaint against them

The minutes of the Police Station Črnomelj also show that in 2018, Bervar Sternad introduced herself as the director of the Legal Information Centre for NGOs (PIC), which is also co-owned by the Peace Institute Ljubljana and said that they had been called by foreigners from the area of the Črnomelj Police Station. She told the police that the migrants were at the settlement of Učakovci, and that they all wanted to apply for international protection.


She then sent a “GPS location of the foreigners” to the phone of the police officer on duty and to the e-mail of the Police Station Črnomelj. In the e-mail, she provided the names and birth data of four Afghans. Bervar Sternad also threatened the police officers in the e-mail, writing that “if the foreigners were returned to Croatia, she would file a criminal complaint against the police officers.”

The report of the Police Station Črnomelj also says: “When stating their reasons for seeking international protection, they state that they are applying for international protection in Slovenia because they were advised to do so by representatives of NGOs from the Republic of Slovenia who visited them in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” The migrants also said that representatives of NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina had given them instructions on what to do when they arrived on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, so that they would not be returned to Croatia. The migrants also handed over a copy of the instructions to police officers during the police procedure. The leaflet contains precise instructions with contact telephone numbers of the following NGOs: the Slovenian Philanthropy, the Association ODNOS and the NGO Legal Information Centre – PIC.

Similar stories also came from Ilirska Bistrica

Similar events took place at the Ilirska Bistrica Police Station. The official note shows that in July of the same year, in a camp in Velika Kladuša, a migrant made contact with the aforementioned PIC NGO. The camp was visited by “Andrej and an unidentified woman who introduced herself as a PIC lawyer.” They explained to the migrant how to apply for asylum and, at the same time, offered him free legal assistance in obtaining asylum status in Slovenia. They gave him a telephone number, which he used to communicate with them through the Whatsapp app. He told the police that he had been in contact with the PIC NGO at all times. He said that before they left Bosnia and Herzegovina, he had to provide the Legal Information Centre with information about the persons travelling with him. The Centre assured him that there would be no problems, that the police would apprehend them when they crossed the Croatian-Slovenian border and that he should also keep them informed of the police procedure.

If the police would not have accepted his asylum application, they instructed him to inform them immediately so that “the Centre will take action against the police.” The migrant did not want to tell the police whether the Centre had also advised him where to cross the Croatian-Slovenian border. However, the obtained document shows that in Velika Kladuša, “NGOs give out telephone numbers” to migrants. One of the migrants said that he had written down the phone number, and they were instructed that they could illegally come to Slovenia and apply for asylum. “The man we got the number from supposedly called the Slovenian police himself and reported us and made sure we couldn’t be returned to Croatia.”

There were eight migrants in the group, and their contact form the Legal Information Centre instructed them to go to the railway line, where it would be easiest for the police to track them down. Then they went to the road and saw a police car. A migrant said, “I turned on the light on my phone and started waving at them so they would see us and detain us.”

The official note of the Police Station Črnomelj reads as follows:

“On the 21st of August 2018, at 7:19 p.m., Katarina Bervar Sternad called the Police Station Črnomelj and introduced herself as the Director of the Legal Information Centre of Non-Governmental Organisations – PIC, adding that she was called by foreigners who are in the area of the Police Station Črnomelj, near the village of Učakovci, and want to submit a request for international protection. Furthermore, she sent the GPS location of the foreigners to the cell phone of one of the police officers, and sent an e-mail address of the Police Station Črnomelj. In the e-mail, she forwarded the information (names and surnames) and nationality of the persons in question.

At 7:55 p.m., police officers detained four Afghani nationals in the village of Učakovci, near house number 12. In the e-mail, Bervar Sternad also warned police officers that she would file a criminal complaint against the police officers should the foreigners be returned to Croatia.

During the police procedure, it was established that two of the four persons detained are minors. Therefore, the on-call representative of the Centre for Social Work Novo mesto was present during the procedure. The procedure was conducted with the help of a translator, and all four foreigners requested international protection. The persons stated that they left their home country of Afghanistan because of the state the country is in, and that their end destination is France. When stating the reasons for requesting international protection, they said that they were told to request international protection in Slovenia by representatives of non-governmental organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, the representatives of Slovenian NGOs handed out instructions to migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina on how to get to Slovenia and what to do in order to avoid being returned to the Republic of Croatia. The migrants then handed over the said instructions to the police officers. The instructions explain how to behave upon entering the Republic of Slovenia and how to avoid being returned to Croatia, and the flyer also includes contact numbers for various NGOs – including the Slovenian Philanthropy, the Association ODNOS and the NGO Legal Information Centre – PIC.
After the procedure was concluded, the persons were taken to the Asylum Centre in Ljubljana.

In the attached document, we are sending the scanned instructions in English, and the e-mail sent to us by Katarina Bervar Sternad, for which we believe is not in line with the current legislation. We ask that you look over the documents in question.

Kind regards”

Instructions for migrants in Arabic

In addition, illegal migrants were also given instructions in Arabic at police stations. These instructions also show who to call for help in Slovenia.

In this case, too, the NGO Legal Information Centre (PIC) is mentioned, the head of which is the winner of the President’s Award, Bervar Sternad. The Centre is co-owned by the Peace Institute Ljubljana (which is entirely privately owned), and co-owned by Darko Štrajn, who is also a representative of the Alternative Academy Association (Društvo Alternativna akademija). It was this association that opposed the protest of the people of Bela krajina against the installation of the migrant centre in Metlika.

Is such a person worthy of an award from the President of the country?

The President will probably defend herself by saying that the Legal Information Centre or Bervar Sternad acted on humanitarian grounds. Which would be a somewhat legitimate excuse if we were rescuing people from the middle of the sea or a raging river. But not if they are handing out leaflets in Velika Kladuša, teaching migrants how to manipulate the Slovenian asylum procedure.

As a reminder, those who wanted to apply for asylum in Slovenia were advised to contact the Legal Information Centre when entering Slovenia and to tell the police that the Centre was their representative. “When you are questioned by the police, insist that you are seeking refuge for security reasons, that your life is in danger in your country. Insist that Slovenia is your country of destination,” the leaflets read in Arabic and English. It is therefore clear that this was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the Slovenian – and therefore the European – asylum system.

The President has therefore given a high award to a person who is probably indirectly responsible for the terrorists who subsequently rampaged through the Bataclan in Paris 8 years ago entering the EU through Slovenia.

I. K.

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