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EU underscores support of free expression, but slights access to information

A new document on freedom of expression and opinion, adopted May 12 by the 28 foreign ministers of the European Union, presses nearly all the right buttons. Drawing its inspiration from international human rights norms as well as from the EU's treaties and its charter of fundamental rights, the document reaffirms the role of freedom of opinion and expression as "an essential foundation for democracy, rule of law, peace, stability, sustainable inclusive development, and participation in public affairs." It also makes a strong case for free and independent journalism. The ministers committed the EU and member states to the defense of journalists' freedom and safety, and endorsed watchdog journalism as a decisive factor in "uncovering abuses of power, shining a light on corruption, and questioning received opinion."

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Attacks on the Press 2002: The Hague

December 11

Jonathan C. Randal, The Washington Post


The U.N. International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY) ruled to limit compelled testimony from war correspondents. The decision, announced at the tribunal's Appeals Chamber, came in response to the appeal by former Washington Post reporter Jonathan C. Randal, who had been subpoenaed to testify in the case of former Bosnian-Serb housing minister Radoslav Brdjanin, who is facing charges of genocide because of his alleged role in the persecution and expulsion of more than 100,000 non-Serbs during the Bosnian war. The subpoena against Randal was set aside, and he is no longer required to testify.
March 31, 2003 12:06 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press 2002: Kyrgystan

Emboldened by the growing number of U.S. troops in the country, President Askar Akayev has used the threat of international terrorism as an excuse to curb political dissent and suppress the independent and opposition media in Kyrgyzstan. Compliant courts often issue exorbitant damage awards in politically motivated libel suits, driving even the country's most prominent newspapers to the brink of bankruptcy.
March 31, 2003 12:05 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press 2002: Slovenia

Press freedom is generally respected in Slovenia, but journalists investigating sensitive issues continue to face occasional intimidation or pressure in retaliation for their coverage.
March 31, 2003 12:02 PM ET

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  |   Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UK, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 2002: United Kingdom

Press freedom is generally respected in the United Kingdom, but CPJ was alarmed by a legal case in which Interbrew, a Belgium-based brewing group, and the British Financial Services Authority (FSA), a banking and investment watchdog agency, demanded that several U.K. media outlets turn over documents that had been leaked to them. The case threatened to erode the media's ability to protect sources, and to deter whistle-blowers from talking with the press.
March 31, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press 2001: Slovakia

As Slovakia adopts political reforms aimed at European Union membership, the government remains slow to change press laws and revamp the state-run media. Criminal libel cases against journalists and political influence over media outlets also hindered the Slovak press in 2001.

March 26, 2002 12:02 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Attacks on the Press 2000: Europe & Central Asia Analysis

POLITICAL REFORMS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, along with the advent of democratic governments in Croatia and Serbia, brightened the security prospects for journalists in Central Europe and the Balkans. In contrast, Russian's new government imposed press restrictions, and authoritarian regimes entrenched themselves in other countries of the former Soviet Union, particularly in Central Asia, further threatening the independent press.

CPJ confirmed that in 2000, five journalists were killed as a result of their reporting in Europe and Central Asia. In Russia, two journalists were killed in Chechnya, and one in Moscow. (CPJ could not confirm the motives for the killings of four other journalists in Russia during the year.) In Ukraine, the disappearance and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze highlighted the extreme vulnerability of independent journalists in that country. And in a rare Western European case, a Spanish journalist was killed in response to his coverage of the Basque separatist group ETA.
March 19, 2001 12:10 PM ET

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