STA, 16 March 2022 - The Slovenian chapter of Amnesty International has launched an international campaign in a bid to get the Slovenian authorities to withdraw their claims for Jaša Jenull, one of the figureheads of Friday's bicycle protests, to pay for the costs of policing of anti-government rallies.
The urgent campaign will see members of the human rights organisation from all over the world call on Prime Minister Janez Janša for the compensation claims amounting to tens of thousands of euros to be withdrawn, something the organisation has already done.
Jenull has received three claims to compensate the Interior Ministry for the cost of policing, one late last year amounting to EUR 2,255 for the policing of an October 2020 rally, one in February amounting to EUR 3,778 over a September 2020 protest and the last one this month amounting to EUR 34,000 over a June 2020 rally.
The authorities claim the costs result from the protests not being registered with the police. They allege the protests were organised by Jenull, which Amnesty International says is only because he is one of the most prominent protesters even though he has denied on several occasions his being one of the organisers.
The human rights organisation sees the claims and the threat of further claims for payments as intimidation and suppression of the right to peaceful protest. Moreover, they say the authorities want to increase the chilling effect on other protesters, underscoring that peaceful protests are a fundamental element of a free and democratic society.
Amnesty International expressed concern about the actions of Slovenian authorities in its position issued at the international level. By signing a petition on the organisation's website citizens can demand of PM Janez Janša that the state withdraw lawsuits and claims for damages and stop punishing peaceful protesters.