Congress Square Footage Does Not Show Migrants Fighting

Nebojša Tejić/STA

Original article (in Slovenian) was published on 5/6/2024; Author: Nina Rozman

On June 3, the Instagram profile of the ‘Slovenian Defence Guard’—which describes itself as an organization striving to make Slovenian men and women feel safe—posted a video of a fight. It has since received over 1,400 likes and has been viewed more than 37,000 times.

“Migrants in broad daylight in the center of Ljubljana, in Congress Square, fighting each other with sticks, axes, and kicking and beating an unconscious man in the head,” they captioned the video. They also criticized security in Ljubljana, the work of the police, and opponents of self-organized vigilante groups.

The Ljubljana Police Department explained to that they “have not received any reports of such an event this week”. However, they have managed to identify the incident in question as footage of a dispute between two Slovenian citizens, aged 36 and 40, that took place in Congress Square in May of last year.

They confirmed that the 36-year-old suffered light injuries and a criminal complaint has been lodged with the State Prosecutor’s Office. “It can be concluded that the published footage is a case of disinformation and blatant misleading of the public, which is unacceptable.”

The video was also featured on the Nova24tv portal, which claimed that migrants are making Ljubljana unsafe.

On May 27, following several recordings and statements by self-styled militias, Tomislav Omejec, the director of the Ljubljana Police Department, stated that the police were investigating the group’s actions. The investigations aim to determine if these actions constitute criminal acts involving public incitement to hatred, violence, or intolerance under Article 297 of the Penal Code and the Protection of Public Order Act.

He explained that the police are opposed to citizens organizing themselves to perform tasks that are incumbent on state bodies such as the police, as this constitutes a security risk, even if their activities are not necessarily criminal acts.

“The spread of false information, incitement to hatred, violence or intolerance creates fear and discomfort, especially among the local population. It erodes the sense of security in the local environment and creates distrust in investigative and law enforcement authorities among potential victims,” Omejec warned.

We have contacted the ‘Slovenian Defence Guard’ via Instagram. If we receive a response, we will publish it.

The post about migrants fighting that allegedly took place on June 3 in Ljubljana’s Congress Square is fake.

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