Govt Adopts Strategy Against Violent Extremism; Militia Leader Protests Prison Sentence

By , 08 Dec 2019, 12:49 PM Politics
Members of Štajerska vlada in 2018 Members of Štajerska vlada in 2018 Štajerska vlada's Facebook page

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STA, 5 December 2019 - The government has adopted a national strategy on the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism which provides a basis for a systemic approach to reducing Slovenia's vulnerability to terrorism and violent extremism. The document is aligned with the recently passed resolution on national security.

The strategy aims to prevent radicalisation which leads to terrorism and violent extremism, and to protect residents against acts of terrorism and violent extremism, the Government Communication Office said after the government session on Thursday.

The document, which is largely preventive in nature, also aims to improve preparedness to take measures in the wake of an act of terror and to prosecute terrorists.

Its goals will now be specified in an action plan, the drafting of which will be coordinated by an inter-departmental anti-terrorism task force.

The same task force drafted the strategy, after it was tasked to do so by the National Security Council already in its previous term.

Activities and exchange of information in the field of terrorism and violent extremism prevention are coordinated by the country's national coordinator for the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism and the national coordinator for the prevention of radicalisation.

Intelligence agency SOVA director Rajko Kozmelj has just recently been appointed the national coordinator for the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism.

The Government Communication Office explained that Slovenia was one of a few EU members without a basic systemic document setting down a coordinated fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

The National Security Council, a government advisory body, also called on the government last month to draft 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.

The appeal came in the aftermath of increased activity by militias including the Štajerska Guard (Štajerska vlada), whose leader Andrej Šiško was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this year for attempting to subvert the constitutional order.

Štajerska vlada stajerska guard militia facebook logo.png

The logo of Štajerska vlada, from the group's Facebook page

Militia leader requests deferral of jail sentence

STA, 6 December 2019 - Andrej Šiško, the self-styled leader of a militia that calls itself the Štajerska Guard (Štajerska vlada), has requested a deferral of a prison sentence that he received for incitement to subversion of the constitutional order.

Šiško told the STA he was to report to prison on Friday but submitted a formal request for deferral on Wednesday.

While sentenced to eight months in prison in March, Šiško had spent almost seven months in detention before and during his trial, time which counts towards his overall sentence.

Since the trial, Šiško and his militia have stepped up their activities, most notably by patrolling the border with Croatia in fatigues and faux weapons.

While their activities do not constitute criminal conduct under existing law, the government has already proposed legislative changes that would make it a crime for individuals or groups to imitate police border patrol activities.

Activities that impede the police in conducting border surveillance will also be banned.

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