STA, 9 October 2020 - Police stepped up the IDing of protesters at Friday's 25th anti-government rally in Ljubljana over violations of the decree limiting public assembly during the coronavirus epidemic. Several protesters were removed from the site, while protests labelled the police action "repression and a disgrace".
The enhanced IDing comes after Interior Minister Aleš Hojs announced it earlier in the week as the government adopted stricter public assembly measures to contain the virus.
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There were again many protesters, including some well-known public figures, among them poet Svetlana Makarovič.
The majority heeded the calls in social media to arrive by bike and wear face masks, while activists called on them to keep a safe distance and avoid confrontation with the police.
A police officer explained to a protester that she could be contacted by a health inspector to explain the facts and circumstances of the offence for which she was IDed.
Some protesters were removed from Republic Square by police officers, among them riot police, while at least one was detained and taken to a police van.
Jaša Jenull, one of the most outspoken protesters, said the protesters were being responsible, wearing masks, keeping the distance and not gathering in groups of more than ten, while exercising their constitutional right to movement.
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"Despite this, police have dragged some of them from the square ... and IDed many, including pensioners. This is what a dictatorship looks like, this is Janez Janša's Slovenia in 2020. This has to stop," he said and announced the continuation of the Friday protests.
Some protesters shouted at the police that they were protecting villains while following Hojs's dictate and exerting repression on people.
In support of the protesters who were taken away, the protest ended in front of the police station in Trdinova Street.