STA, 13 November 2019 - The Slovenian National Security Council has called on the government to table legislation that would allow law enforcement to prosecute paramilitary militias, which have recently sprung up and started to patrol the border to keep illegal migrants out.
Changes to the penal code and misdemeanour regulations are needed to "appropriately sanction association and activities by various organisations that encroach on the powers of state authorities", the National Security Council said after Wednesday's session.
The appeal comes in the aftermath of increased activity by militias including the Štajerska Guard, whose leader Andrej Šiško was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this year for attempting to subvert the constitutional order.
Šiško is no longer in prison, having served out most of his sentence in pre-trial detention, and in recent months his group has stepped up activities.
When he was arrested in September last year, his Štajerska Guard had only gathered for training in the woods near Maribor; in recent weeks they have been patrolling the border with Croatia in fatigues and wearing airsoft rifles, posing as defenders of the southern border.
This is the same area, along the river Kolpa, where a local family has taken it upon themselves to "protect the border" by patrolling the riverside.
Concern about their activities has been rising, with the police, which have been keeping an eye on militia activities, for example writing on Tumblr today that they were opposed to such militias, whose activities "constitute a certain degree of security risk".
The Interior Ministry said it had "zero tolerance" to such actions, noting that "the law gives the state monopoly over the use of force". It said the police would immediately act on suspicion of criminal activity and misdemeanour.
The statements by police and the Interior Ministry suggest the authorities think they cannot crack down on such conduct under existing law, hence the appeal for tougher regulation.
The fact is that the court did not find Šiško guilty of any unlawful conduct of his militia, he was convicted for trying to subvert the constitutional order by calling for a coup against the government.
All our stories on militias in Slovenia are here