ASSOCIATION OF THE ERASED RESIDENTS OF SLOVENIA

ASSOCIATION OF THE ERASED RESIDENTS OF SLOVENIA

14 years from the illegal erasure:

SHAME FOR SLOVENIA AS A RULE-OF-LAW-STATE

 It is 14 years from the illegal "erasure" of 18.305 legal inhabitants of Slovenia, when almost all their social and economic rights were taken away from them, overnight and in secrecy – twice seven years of shame for Slovenia: first, it lasted seven years, before the Constitutional court found (in February 1999) that the erasure in February 1992 was totally illegal – and since then, another seven years are already gone without the restauration of the consequences of that injustice.

 

But it was not only an injustice or even an unintentional administrative mistake, as the politicians are misleading the public, but an intentional political crime – which was finally discovered to the public already two years ago, but immediately after that, it was kept secret again by the politicians and by the media. The leading "legal coordinator" of the erasure in the Ministry of Interior Mr. Debelak admitted in the interview for the daily Dnevnik (in March 2004) that the erased persons were not informed about the erasure, but that this information was given to the house-keepers and to the employers of these persons! It is hard to immagine a clearer proof that the erasure was an organized, intentional attempt how to make to these persons their life in Slovenia impossible and how to force them to leave Slovenia without a formal expulsion. But at that time (just before the referendum about the law on the erased in April 2004) the hysteria of the misled public opinion was already such that politicians and media easily "didn't hear" this clear evidence of the intentional political crime – and they continued to spread lies instead of truth. That's why we call attention to this clear evidence of a political crime once more – not to let it sink definitively in the oblivion. And this evidence was not the only one – see for example the letter of Minister Bavčar form 5 June 1992 to the Government, discovered and published 12 years later (on 26 February 2004 in daily Dnevnik) – with the famous sentence that, in deciding the requests of the erased persons, "their acquired rights must be neglected (or: abstracted)".

In the time when, for ten years, the "erased" were divided into 18.305 humiliated and atomized individuals, the state was even prepared to give to them mercifully "some crumb from the rich man's table". But, few years ago, as some hundreds of them finally dared to join in an association (now two) and to begin an organized battle for their rights, the mercy and the crumbs were over – and our legal victory at the Constitutional court in April 2003, paradoxically, ment even the worst political defeat of our rights and also of the rule of law.

The right-wing parties had begun an open battle against our rights, with lies and xenophobia, and the left-wing parties dared not to oppose it resolutely. Our rights were represented all the time only by the party ZLSD (now: socialdemocrats), but, when it became clear that just the Minister of Interior Mr. Bohinc and the President of the Parliament Mr. Pahor, both belonging to this party, were the most responsible for the non-execution of the decision of the Constitutional court, all the hope in Slovenia was definitively lost. In such circumstances, the victory of xenophobia on the referendum in April 2004 with 95% of votes was no more a surprise.

On the other hand, in last two years the pressure of international forums on Slovenia increased:

- in July 2003: the report of the commission of the Council of Europe (ECRI) on its visit in Slovenia in December 2002

- in October 2003: the report of the Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Gil Robles on his visit in Slovenia in May 2003

- in July 2005: the report of the UN Committee for Human Rights on Slovenia

- in November 2005: the report of the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Slovenia

- in November 2005: the report of the European center against racism and xenophobia

- in May 2005: the second visit of the Office of the Commissioner Gil Robles (checking of the situation after the first visit in May 2003 – we are still waiting for the report)

- in the fall of 2005 the Committee for Petitions of the European Parliament declared the petition of the Association of the Erased admissible and had begun the procedure to decide on it.

All the international forums which had already completed their procedures are requesting from Slovenia to resolve the problem of the "erased" in  accordance with the decisions of the Constitutional court – but all the activity of the Slovenian Government in this field since its election one year ago is consecrated just to the opposite goal: how not to execute the decisions of the Constitutional court – either by using a "Constitutional Act" aimed to by-pass the new judgment of the Constitutional court (a legal trick, known from the austrian practice 10-20 years ago, but now recognized as totally inadmissible) or by doing nothing at all, overturning the responsability on the opposition if it will not be prepared to cooperate in the trick with the "Constitutional Act".

Unfortunately, there is another sad parallel with Austria: so as Austria refuses to execute the decision of its constitutional court about the rights of Slovenian minority in Carinthia (Kärnten), so Slovenia refuses to execute the decision of its constitutional court about the rights of the "erased". But even more sad is the hitherto reaction of the European Union: to this union of states which should be distinguished by respect for human rights and for the rule of law Austria is presiding this year and Slovenia will be presiding in 2008. Under such a presidencies, of course, the hope for respect of human rights doesn't exist.

The proverb says that the hope dies last. Does it mean that we will die earlier?

The Association of the Erased Residents of Slovenia

on its assembly on 19 February 2006

 

in Leto 2005
on 24 Maj 2019

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