The Human Rights Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has, for many years, been noticing and pointing out that the situation related to freedom of expression in Slovenia remains strongly connected with current social events. It is due to the importance of freedom of expression itself that the Ombudsman does not take positions in specific matters too easily, while it always responds publicly to them if hostility is directed mainly towards groups that do not have the opportunity to defend themselves – that is, if it is directed towards neglected and marginalised or otherwise vulnerable groups.
In recent times, well-argued criticism and respectful and decent communication have unfortunately often been replaced by shaming, insults, recrimination and lynching. "Freedom of expression is indeed a democratic asset, although it is protected to the limits of the protection of other human rights and freedoms, or the rights of others. Dignified communication and conduct that does not encroach on the dignity of fellow human beings and does not violate their rights is a result of the maturity, openness and ethics of society and individuals, which I have noted on several occasions. Words have great power, so our publicly expressed thought must be cultivated, regardless of its sharpness and immediacy. Individuals must take responsibility for their words," noted Ombudsman Svetina.
Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina therefore calls on all those involved in the election campaign in any way to show their commitment to constitutional and democratic values and dignified communication in all their public appearances. "Certainly, everyone can start with themselves and be a good example to others. The vigilance of society regarding unacceptable communication practices is important, as this draws a clear line between acceptable and unacceptable means of communication, which characterises the functioning and mindset of society as a whole," noted the Human Rights Ombudsman.