Peace Institute hails ECHR ruling on ‘Erased’ people
News Source: The Peace Institute, Slovenia
The Peace Institute is celebrating a legal victory in its efforts to restore the rights of thousands of Slovenes who were disenfranchised and stripped of their residency after the country gained independence in 1992.
On 26 June, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Slovene government violated the rights of ‘The Erased,’ a group of 25,671 residents of Slovenia, most of whom had been born in other Yugoslav republics, who were deleted from the country’s legal register. The Institute has been advocating for restoration of their rights for 10 years.
The court’s Grand Chamber found a violation of Article 8 (right to privacy and family life) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition it also found a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of discrimination), because the erased people, being citizens of former Yugoslavia, were treated less favourably than those who had foreigners’ status. The court also ordered Slovenia to set up a system to compensate those harmed by the ‘Erasure.’
The applicants in the case before the court were represented by an Italian law firm, Lana Lagostena-Bassi. Andrea Saccucci, an attorney and professor of international human rights law who handled the case in the name of the law firm, worked in close cooperation with the Institute. The campaign was also assisted by Open Society Foundations.
The Institute has created a website about the issue -- The Erased: Information and Documents -- with news updates, stories from ‘the Erased,” publications, and legal information.
Slovenian leaders have reacted unfavorably to the ruling, the Institute said.
“The reactions of the Slovenian government observed in the first two weeks after the delivery of the judgment, revealed a lack of capability to face the facts and accept responsibility for the violations,” according to an Institute press release. “Prime Minister Janez Janša, who was a member of the government also in 1992 when the erasure was executed, stated on 28 June that ‘Slovenia does not have the money for compensation.’
“Further, the Minister of Interior Vinko Gorenak (who was in 1992 a member of the cabinet of the then Minister of Interior Igor Bavčar) named the erased people “cheats” and wrote on his blog on 1 July that ‘first all cheats will be eliminated’ from the compensation scheme and then ‘all the other individuals who have possibility suffered any injustices will be dealt with individually at the constant consideration of the financial resources.’ The statements clearly show the lack of respect for the European Court and its judgment which found that a violation has been caused to all of the erased people.”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.