Starting 9 May 2023, a condolence book in the memory of the first Human Rights Ombudsman in the independent Republic of Slovenia and politician Ivan Bizjak, who passed away at the age of 68, will be opened at the Ombudsman’s headquarters, Dunajska cesta 56, Ljubljana (4th floor).
You can record your condolences in the condolence book until Wednesday, 10 May, between 10 am and 2 pm. Later, the condolence book will be located at the Ministry of Justice. Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina will also participate at the funeral, which will take place on Friday, 12 May.
Ivan Bizjak was elected to the position of the Ombudsman in 1994 and he carried his six-year mandate through until September 2000. While laying the foundations of the institution of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia, of which he was the founder, he and only a handful of colleagues at the time followed three aspects of operation that still distinguish the institution of the Ombudsman from the state apparatus that it supervises. For the collection of papers on the 20th anniversary of the Ombudsman's operation in 2014, he described the institution's mission in the following words: “First, we are here to solve people's problems. The problem is not an interruption in our work, problems are our work. Second, we must do the best we can for anyone who reaches out to us. Third, we must be better than those we criticize.”
In his response to the sad news, Ombudsman Svetina wrote that Ivan Bizjak will remain in our memory as an important figure and a great man who tirelessly strived for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms of everyman. His legacy is priceless, with his engagement and the tireless work of the Ombudsman's colleagues, he ensured the correction of thousands of injustices. As an expert on human rights issues, he was a respected lecturer and author of numerous expert articles on this issue.