Slovenia: anti-vaccine assault on a television station

An anti-vaccine group and coronavirus deniers broke into the headquarters of the Slovenian public television, RTVS, at dawn on Saturday, to demand that their theories be given a voice.

The studio was off the air when protesters stormed in demanding that they be allowed to voice their views. Opponents of the vaccine have been gathering outside the building for months, often interrupting journalists going to or from work.reported the STA news agency.

The Police quickly intervened and arrested 20 people who tried to enter the newscast studio, Slovenian news agency STA reported.

“Attack on democracy”

“It is an unacceptable attack against the media, journalism and democracy”, denounced the network’s programming director, Manica Janezic Ambrozic.

For his part, the director of the station, Andrej Grah Whatmough , described the incident on Friday as “a serious attack on our media house and public communication outlet, which we condemn in the strongest terms.”

Whatmough admitted that protesters have the right to protest although he warned that new security measures have already been taken, after four months of harassment of station personnel and demonstrations in front of its headquarters, the Europa Press news agency reported.

“Hate campaign”

The Slovenian Press Association (DNS) denounced that this attack is only “the tip of the iceberg” of a “hate campaign” against the media encouraged by the Government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

RtvSlo journalists have been the target of various accusations, conspiracy theories and insults that the anti-vaccines shout in frequent demonstrations outside the building for months. These are people who deny the existence of covid-19 and they oppose measures against the pandemic, especially vaccination.

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According to STA, behind the incident, is the movement led by ex-military Ladislav Troha, a veteran of the Slovenian War of Independence (also known as the Ten Day War in 1991).

“No muzzles”

Led by the head of a “patriotic organization” called “Conscious Inhabitants of Slovenia”, the protesters first distributed leaflets in the street and then inside the studio asking for “Safe schools and universities without muzzles”.

Tanja staric, a journalist from RtvSlo, told the media that his company has repeatedly warned the authorities that anti-vaccines cause great disorder in front of his building and make it difficult for journalists to work, but that no one has reacted.

Independent

The public radio television RtvSlo, which maintains an independent information line from the Government, receives numerous criticisms of the first in March 2020.

Slovenia has seen an increase in Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations in recent weeks, with an average of 537 new cases per day. Since the pandemic began, Slovenia, with a population of just over two million inhabitants, has suffered 269,979 infections and 4,783 deaths.

About a million Slovenians have been vaccinated and almost 1.9 million doses have been applied.

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