Swastikas Spray-Painted on Christian NGO in Ljubljana

By , 02 Feb 2021, 17:09 PM Politics
Swastikas Spray-Painted on Christian NGO in Ljubljana Twitter

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STA, 2 February 2021 - A building in Ljubljana housing the Zavod Iskreni, a Christian NGO, has been defaced as unknown perpetrators spray-painted two swastikas on its facade and entrance and wrote "Corruption?" on the door, in what is another in a series of similar recent incidents. The NGO thinks the defacing reflects Slovenia's current state of mind. 

The investigation into the incident, which occurred in the night to Tuesday, is ongoing, the Ljubljana Police Department told the STA, adding that the defacing caused some EUR 2,000 in damage.

Responding to the incident, Zavod Iskreni said that the defacing mainly demonstrated Slovenia's state of mind, frustration, anger and growing intolerance. The latter is directed at someone who is not guilty of anything through political and media fuelling and inciting, the NGO wrote in its response for the STA.

It added that its staff and volunteers were not used to "such intensely negative political and media attention", so they were even more upset. The incident has only exacerbated the situation, Zavod Iskreni noted, calling on everyone, particularly politicians and media, to acknowledge the effects of such spotlight.

The NGO, which is best known for promoting family and Christian values and organising anti-abortion rallies and pickets, has lately been in the spotlight after it was one of the organisations selected to receive funding from the Labour Ministry for mitigation of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

This prompted corruption allegations and a motion of no confidence in Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, who used to have close ties to the organisation.

The defacing has been condemned by officials across the political spectrum.

"Radical political views that deny basic human rights to those who think differently or have different values have throughout history always led down a wrong path," New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matej Tonin said on Twitter, calling for joint efforts promoting plurality, tolerance and respect for diversity.

"Do you understand how psychology works when you incite and pit people against someone?" Rok Čakš, the editor of conservative news portal Domovina, published by Zavod Iskreni, wrote on Twitter.

Uroš Urbanija, the head of the Government Communication Office (UKOM), responded to Čakš's tweet by describing the incident as unacceptable. He also said that "Tonin was right when he stressed that these were systemic attacks on Christians and our values", wondering where the police were.

The opposition SocDems as well as Jerca Korče, an MP of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the largest opposition parties, have condemned the latest incident.

The SD wrote on Twitter that corruption should be persecuted by competent authorities. "There is no space for violence and vandalism in democracy and there should not be."

The NGO is another in a series of targets which have been defaced recently.

On Friday evening, swastikas were spray-painted on a building in Trbovlje where Health Ministry State Secretary Alenka Forte, a medical doctor, has her office.

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