Matjaz Hanzek

is Slovenia’s former Human Rights Ombudsman (2001-2007).


When will words become actions?

Reflections on hate speech in Slovenia

Slovenia’s former Human Rights Ombudsman, Matjaz Hanzek, finished his six-year term in office in 2007 amid a barrage of criticism and contempt for his alerts about human rights violations in the case of asylum-seekers, Roma, and Muslims. Here, Hanzek describes how homophobia and xenophobia, falsely parading as free speech, has entered the Slovenian political mainstream. A target of hate speech himself, Hanzek warns that it is only a matter of time before words become actions.

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