Natisni vsebino

Writer Taufer Appeals to Ombudsman over Informer Allegations

19.07.2012 14:21
Category: work and news


 
Ljubljana, 19 July (STA) - The president of the Slovenian Writers' Association, Veno Taufer, believes March media reports alleging that he had worked with the Communist-era Office of State Security (SDV) violated his rights, which is why he has filed a petition with the human rights ombudsman.

 
He told the STA on Wednesday that he was offended by the reports in particular because he had been one of the few who had declined to collaborate with the SDV.

Taufer said in the complaint that he had been the victim and not an employee of the SDV, as some media had suggested with their "partial and unprofessional publishing of certain archives" in March.

Media reported on Taufer's links with the SDV four months ago, when Positive Slovenija (PS) deputy and former BBC employee Mitja Meršol came under fire for his work in the 1970s and 1980s as a SDV informer, tasked with passing information on Slovenian political emigrants in the UK to undercover members of the SDV.

Meršol did not wish to comment on his role at the SDV, but said that his reports had never hurt anyone or put anyone in danger.

Taufer, however, reported the issue to the ombudsman, but received the response that the ombudsman was not in a position to investigate human rights violations in a relation between individuals and companies, in this case media outlets.

However, looking into the matter, the office did find that the alleged violation of human rights arose from inappropriate handling of achieves, for which Slovenia's National Archives is responsible.

Under the archives law, access is restricted to documents with sensitive data on individuals who were not public office holders when information has been obtained through methods that violated human rights, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman said.

Since Taufer was not a public office holder in the former Yugoslavia and the documents published contained some sensitive information about him which the SDV obtained by opening his letters and through other methods that violate basic human rights, the documents on him should not be publicly accessible.

The ombudsman's office also learned that the National Archives did not check if documents requested by individuals contained sensitive information before last summer. This enabled four persons to access controversial documents, which was illegal, the office said.

It advised Taufer to report the matter to the inspection service and to turn to court.


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