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NGOs Want To Use Taxpayers’ Money To Persecute Those Who Disagree With Them

The left-wing activists, gathered in the self-proclaimed Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy (Pravna mreža za varstvo demokracije), have filed a criminal complaint against, the weekly Demokracija, and several other media outlets. And money is not a problem for them, since the top four NGO budget spenders received 3.5 million euros from the taxpayers, and the activists gathered in the Voice of the People initiative (Glas ljudstva) have received an incredible 138.5 million euros.

In early April, the self-proclaimed Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy triumphantly announced on social media that they had filed a notice of suspicion of a criminal offence for violation of the secrecy of proceedings against, the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values and the New Horizons company (Nova obzorja, d.o.o.). As justification, they cited the second paragraph of Article 287 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Slovenia, which states that “whoever publishes the personal data of a minor who is a participant in judicial, administrative or any other proceedings, or publishes other information from which his or her identity could be identified, shall be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for up to 3 years.”

They stated that the above-mentioned legal entities committed the offence in question by publishing such data in the media they publish, “which are NTA – the National Press Agency (Nacionalna tiskovna agencija), the NOVA24TV website, Škandal24 and Demokracija.”

The private Institute Today Is a New Day

They did not disclose which publications their report referred to. They have also not posted any news about this on their website. However, they wrote on social media that they “carry out their mission with the support of the people.” At the same time, they asked for donations. Their website also shows that funds for the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy are being raised by Today Is a New Day, an Institute for Other Issues (Danes je nov dan). The latter is run by one of the better-known left-wing activists, Filip Dobranić, who is also one of the six partners of the Institute, which was founded in September 2013. The Institute’s director is Maja Cimerman, from Črnomelj. Dobranić is a resident of Lendava, and the other founders are: Nika Mahnič from Koper, Jasmina Ploštajner from Rečice ob Savinji, Karmen Šterk from Ljubljana, Eva Vrtačič from Rečica ob Savinji, and Žiga Vrtačič from Ljubljana. This is a purely private legal entity into whose account citizens are now supposed to transfer money at the behest of a third party. Meanwhile, since January 2019, they have been registered as a “non-governmental organisation working in the public interest” in the register of the Ministry of Public Administration. As such, they are not obliged to submit business reports, which means that their operations are completely non-transparent. All of the above is evident from the data of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (Agencija RD za javnopravne evidence in storitve – AJPES).

3.5 million euros for four organisations

The Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy reveals on its website that its umbrella organisations are the Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (PIC), Amnesty International Slovenia (AI), Today Is a New Day (DJND) and the Institute Open – for Diversity Culture (Open). All four are also involved in the civil initiative the Voice of the People. The online database Erar, which operates under the auspices of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, shows that they have received a total of 3.5 million euros in taxpayers’ money. The Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (PIC), headed by Katarina Bervar Sternad, received the most – 2.47 million euros. The organisation is owned by the Peace Institute Ljubljana (Mirovni inštitut), the Association for the Development of Preventive and Voluntary Work, Amnesty International Slovenia and the Institute for Cultural and Sustainable Development ALCEDO, which are also involved in the Voice of the People initiative, where they actively protested against the centre-right government of the time during the government of Janez Janša. Meanwhile, the Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, under the leadership of Katarina Bervar Sternad, has “proved itself” before – during the biggest migrant wave in recent years, they were ardent supporters of illegal border crossings.

The Legal Information Centre’s support for irregular migrants

The Legal Information Centre, led by Katarina Bervar Sternad, has already “made a name for itself” in 2018 in advocating for open borders. At the time, Bervar Sternad advocated for illegal migrants.

She also took on the police. The proof is a facsimile of a leaked recording from the Črnomelj Police Station. The Erar website shows that Legal Information Centre has so far received 2.47 million euros of taxpayers’ money and is part of the Voice of the People initiative.

Meanwhile, the private Institute Today is a New Day is particularly bothered by the leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), Janez Janša. As part of the so-called “Marshal Twito” project, the Institute has been studying Janša’s tweets on a daily basis. At the end of last year, Dobranić admitted on the show Tarča that they were tired from resisting the previous government. “You can’t expect us to do this second and third thing, and be on the streets every day, too,” he said when asked whether the “civil society” was critical enough of the current government.

Golob’s amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act

Last year, members of the self-proclaimed Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy also took part in Friday’s protests against the government of Janez Janša. They were then awarded the European Parliament’s Citizen of Europe 2022 award for “defending a democratic, open and solidarity-based society.” Recently, after being empowered by the award, they even drafted an amendment Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which was publicly revealed by Prime Minister Robert Golob, thus showing that the Left (Levica) party’s Minister of Culture, Asta Vrečko, who claimed that the law had been written by her ministry, was lying. The Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy is now active in many other areas, one of its latest projects being the call to preserve the integrity of the Constitutional Court in connection with the decision on the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which they themselves drafted.

Proposers of a state decoration for a man who undermines the EU

In 2002, Milan Kučan awarded George Soros, who undermines the EU, the Honorary Medal of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia. And it was the Peace Institute who proposed that the award be given to Soros, and they were supposedly also supported by the Slovenian Philanthropy, the Kibla Multimedia Centre, the Legal Information Centre of Slovenia, Studio humanitatis, IEDC – Business School Bled and Cultural-Artistic Association (KUD) France Prešeren. The Legal Information Centre and the Peace Institute are now both part of the Voice of the People initiative, and the Legal Information Centre is also a promoter of the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy initiative.

They want to drown those who disagree with them in a teaspoon of water

This is not the first time that the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy has dealt with media that are not on the line of a parallel mechanism. Last year, for example, they sent a written question to the District State Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana regarding two statements made on the 28th of June 2022 in the commentary television programme “Who Is Lying To You” (Kdo vam laže) on Nova24TV, asking whether they had already acted in accordance with their legal powers. They were bothered by a comment made by a viewer of the programme and accused the presenter of inciting hatred and calling for violence. They are also actively involved in law-making. In fact, Prime Minister Robert Golob revealed on one of the episodes of the show “Echoes” (Odmevi) on the national media outlet RTV Slovenia that, contrary to the claims of the Ministry of Culture, the RTVS Act was written by the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy.

Vida Kocjan

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