Slovakia: impunity for Jan Kuciak’s murder continues

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Source/Author: EFJ

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)  reiterate their call for justice for the murder, six years ago, of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová.

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were shot and killed at their home on 21 February 2018. Kuciak had regularly reported on cases of corruption for online news website Aktuality.sk. His investigative reporting included articles on alleged tax fraud committed by prominent members of the business community, with suggested links to SMER party as well as organised crime groups.

Six years on, Kuciak’s and Kušnírová’s families are still struggling for justice.

The hitmen who committed the murder have been brought to justice and sentenced to long prison terms. However, the alleged mastermind of the murder, businessman Marian Kočner, continues to evade justice.

“This culture of impunity and the lack of concrete measures to re-establish a genuine system of press freedom in Slovakia are the result of criminal behaviour by the government in power, which is characterised by hostile rhetoric from senior politicians, often at the root of despicable smear campaigns,” said EFJ President Maja Sever. “This must stop!”

We demand Slovak authorities to take action to protect journalists and the right of citizens to access information:

  • it is time to put an end to impunity for the murderers of journalists;
  • it is time to demand that politicians respect journalists;
  • it is time to guarantee the independence of the management of public television RTVS and to set up a stable and independent funding for public service media;
  • it is time to adopt rules for the fair and transparent distribution of state advertising;
  • it is time to adopt a law prohibiting politicians from owning media;
  • it is time to decriminalize defamation.

Much remains to be done to establish a regime of genuine press freedom in Slovakia.

Source: EFJ