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The State Security Administration Is A Criminal Organisation And Represents The Opposite Of The Fundamental Values Of A Democratic Slovenia

The former secret political police, officially known as the State Security Administration (and later changed to State Security Service), known in the popular jargon as “UDBA,” was an institutionalised contradiction of the fundamental constitutional values of today’s independent Slovenia. However, this did not stop the current authorities from burying the former director of the State Security Administration, Janez Zemljarič, who was considered one of the most influential godfathers from the background, with military honours. All this happened despite the fact that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia had declared the State Security Administration a criminal organisation.

“By honouring the last President of the Executive Council of the communist regime and head of the State Security Administration, the Golob government has undone Slovenia’s 1990-1991 transition, which happened at the time of the liberation of Central Europe from Russian and Serbian occupation. This represents the return of communism. It violated the symbolic basis for Slovenia’s accession to the European Union,” said Marko Štrovs, a lawyer and researcher on war and political crimes, referring to the government’s recent controversial decision.

It is not only the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia that has recognised the activities of the State Security Administration as criminal, but also the Supreme Court. The ruling, which is a rare bright spot in the Slovenian judiciary, is being denied by the current government with the state funeral of Janez Zemljarič. It was Marjan Šiftar who, together with the other initiators, members of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia between 1980 and 1984, submitted the proposal to organise a funeral with military honours for Zemljarič, who died on Friday, the 30th of December last year. As if Zemljarič had not been blamed for his role in the State Security Administration’s murders in the last decade.

We asked Štrovs for a comment on the government’s decision, and he told us that what is a bit awkward about the Constitutional Court is that it is like a river. The water within changes every single moment. “At that time, the Constitutional Court was still in the current of the Central European transition. What it is now is a pure return to the situation before 1991. What is terrible about our country is that the Kučan principle has succeeded – that it is not what the laws say, but who implements them that matters. The primary function of the party, or the deep state as it is now called, is personnel politics,” he pointed out, adding that it is personnel politics that has now turned this circle from 1991 when we thought we were out of communism. A full 360 degrees, and they have come back to the point where the same clique that was in power then still continues to rule.

This transfer of power, according to Štrovs, has succeeded completely. The only difference is that before, they only had political power, and now they have appropriated the assets of the former state as well. “The oligarchs are protected by all three branches of government: from the judiciary (from municipal and district courts to the Constitutional Court) to the government with the civil service and the media. Only the parliament still has a position, but it is systematically ignored or ridiculed. Laws are thus changed at will. In a Bolshevik fashion, the only thing that matters is who is in power, whether the law is implemented or not, but if there is a necessity, it is changed,” he explained.

According to Štrovs, we can only hope that the majority of people will realise that they really messed up in last year’s elections because they did not go to the polls and thus allowed those who were mobilised to actually prevail. “Maybe it would also help if this power, which somehow exists in the Slovenian Constitutional Court, were articulated, and that is the European Union. Now the question is how to get the European Court to address the issue of the counter-revolution in Slovenia, i.e., the return of communism,” he pointed out, adding that if there was a chance to influence the European Union, it would probably succeed here. What is happening in Slovenia today, he said, is an experiment of the communist transition or of the cliques that went rogue 30 years ago. “If it succeeds in Slovenia, it could spread like a cancer to other Central European countries that got rid of communism in the 1990s,” he warned.

Judging by the reactions on the social network Twitter, there is no shortage of criticism of the Golob government’s decision. “It is a grave abuse of the Slovenian army to give military honours to an active and operational opponent of an independent Slovenia. This is a great shame. This is how we will lose the country,” the columnist Igor Omerza pointed out in his reaction, among other things. “Obscene, tasteless, non-civilisational! The rehabilitation of the previous regime is over before we have even “de-communised” our country well,” Dr Žiga Turk, former Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, commented on the government’s decision.

The entire opposition was also outraged

The opposition was also appalled by the government’s decision. While the New Slovenia party (Nova Slovenija – NSi) described the decision as inappropriate, undignified and a mockery of those who fought for human rights, democracy and an independent Slovenia, the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) pointed out that the Golob government’s decision fundamentally violates the basic right to human dignity and makes a mockery of the suffering of the many victims of the criminal activities of the State Security Administration. “This decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of the Slovenian Constitution, which is based on respect for human dignity, human rights and the rule of law. The former secret political police, officially known as the State Security Administration, and in the popular jargon as “UDBA,” was an institutionalised contradiction of the fundamental constitutional values of today’s independent Republic of Slovenia. As the Association of Slovenian Political Prisoners points out, there are thousands of testimonies of drastic violations of human rights and the rule of law by the Slovenian State Security Administration. There is also evidence of its international terrorist activities from the time when Zemljarič was in charge,” they stressed, adding that the abuse of military honours to glorify the head of a criminal organisation is ultimately an insult to the Slovenian Armed Forces, which was founded on the basis of resistance against the repressive Yugoslav regime, of which the State Security Service, or “UDBA,” was an integral part for decades.

It seems that in Slovenia, anything is possible if you are on the “right” side.

Sara Kovač

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