Migrants walk towards the Slovenian-Austrian border between Sentilj and Spielfeld, in Sentilj, Slovenia on 24 October 2015 | Photo: EPA/Gyorgy Varga
Migrants walk towards the Slovenian-Austrian border between Sentilj and Spielfeld, in Sentilj, Slovenia on 24 October 2015 | Photo: EPA/Gyorgy Varga

The Slovenian government has presented a draft law to limit the activities of self-styled "village guards" created to control the border, many of whom do so as part of an anti-migrant trend.

Slovenian interior minister Bostjan Poklukar has presented a draft law to crack down on the activities of self-styled "village guards" and militias that have taken it upon themselves to patrol the country's borders. Partially, the draft law is a reaction to anti-migrant sentiments in the country.

According to a statement sent to the media on Tuesday, Poklukar said that national border control is the exclusive preserve of the state. Therefore, Poklukar said, any organized group to exercise some of those duties outside of its control is hindering the work of the police.

Through this initiative, the Slovenian government aims to fill a legislative gap on the subject and curb initiatives that create apprehension within the population while hindering the work of security forces.

Poklukar's draft law aims thus to crack down on "any initiative by individuals or groups that take on tasks under state jurisdiction" and would impose fines of up to €2,000 on anyone disturbing the peace by wearing uniforms or carrying weapons not issued by the state.

'Styrian Guard' case

This year, far-right politician Andrej Sisko served time in jail for forming the Styrian Guard (Stajerska Varda) and urging the overthrow of state institutions. In the last presidential elections, Sisko's United Slovenia movement received 2% of the votes.

Stajerska Varda claims it works for the "self-defence of the free people of Styria" on the border with Croatia. Lack of proof and an inability to show that the act of creating the group was actually a crime under the penal code led the judge to release Sisko. He was sentenced in March 2019 to eight months in jail for subversive activities.

Many migrants now try to find alternative routes to enter the EU. In early November, German daily Die Welt reported that migrants would now use a "vast network of routes" through the Balkan states in order to get to central and western Europe.

 

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