As part of a third major demonstration in Ljubljana against the health pass, the Slovenian police used great means against individuals who tried to block a motorway.
On September 30, tear gas and water cannons were used by police in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, after protesters opposed to the health pass attempted to block a highway.
During this third big rally against the health pass, the demonstrators gathered in the Republic Square, located in front of the Parliament of Ljubljana protected by the riot police. Police estimated that around 10,000 people took part in the unauthorized protest, while organizers insisted the number was ten times higher.
The demonstrators then moved towards the outskirts of the Slovenian capital, and the police intervened when the procession reached the city ring road and tried to block the population. The police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The procession then returned to the Place de la République, where the gathering continued.
Journalists attacked by protesters
Questioned for their coverage of the pandemic, local media teams Kanal A and POP TV said they were assaulted during the demonstration. Participants allegedly threw objects at the journalists and spat on them. A security guard who accompanied these television crews was slightly injured, according to the Slovenian news agency STA. A water cannon was also used as the crowd tried to stop in front of the headquarters of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa criticized the rally on Twitter, insisting that physical assaults, threats, obstructions to movement and violations of health restriction measures related to Covid-19 had nothing to do with the constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly.
The new restrictions, in force since September 15 in Slovenia, impose a health pass attesting to a cure from Covid-19, a vaccination or a negative test as a condition for working or shopping. These measures come at a time when the number of contaminations is growing sharply in this country of 2 million inhabitants where 48% of the population is vaccinated.
The rally took place the same day that Slovenia suspended the use of the Janssen vaccine against Covid-19 as a precaution, produced by the American laboratory Johnson & Johnson. A decision that follows the death of a 20-year-old woman, whose father attended the protest and addressed the crowd.