Slovak press under fire after PM Fico shooting

Police guard the Specialized Criminal Court in Pezinok, north of Bratislava, Slovakia, where the suspect in the shooting of Prime Minister Robert Fico is being charged on May 18, 2024. (Photo: AFP/ Vladimir Simicek)

Almost immediately after the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15, members of the ruling coalition blamed the attack on journalists by linking it to their critical coverage and issued retaliatory threats.

“This is your fault,” said Ľuboš Blaha, a deputy speaker of parliament and a member of Fico’s Smer party, who has used social media to accuse the press of bias and to smear journalists. “You, the liberal media, the political opposition, what hatred you spread against Robert Fico, you built the gallows for him,” he told reporters before the prime minister was discharged from hospital later in May.

CPJ was in Slovakia at the time of the attack meeting with journalists, press freedom advocates, and diplomats. They described the atmosphere as “depressing,” “toxic,” and “unprecedented.” Read CPJ’s new analysis on why the attempt on the prime minister’s life might represent a new chapter in the government’s war on the media.

Gaza’s journalism world will never be the same
Palestinian journalist Abu Bakr Bashir covers a Japanese cultural event in Khan Yunis, Gaza, for Japan’s JIJI PRESS. (Photo: Courtesy of Abu Bakr Bashir)
Palestinian journalist Abu Bakr Bashir covers a Japanese cultural event in Khan Yunis, Gaza, for Japan’s JIJI PRESS. (Photo: Courtesy of Abu Bakr Bashir)

London-based Palestinian journalist Abu Bakr Bashir moved to Gaza as a teenager during the optimistic era of the Oslo Peace Accords. But over years of reporting, he witnessed life in Gaza erode by wars and blockade. In a new piece for CPJ, Bashir recalls the pressures of reporting in Gaza amid Israeli military operations and Hamas restrictions, but also the knafeh-fueled camaraderie among Gaza’s embattled press corps.

Now, with more than 100 Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli military fire and Gaza’s reporting infrastructure all but demolished, Bashir looks back on the journalism world he left in 2019 and asks: “Will there be young men and women willing to go into journalism in Gaza? Who will tell Gaza’s story?”

-Two journalists harassed, assaulted, and detained during Flag March in Jerusalem
Journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war
Full coverage of the war


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Journalists Attacked

Myat Thu Tan

MURDERED

Myat Thu Tan, a contributor to the local news website Western News and correspondent for several independent Myanmar news outlets, was shot and killed on January 31, 2024, while in military custody in Mrauk-U in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State.

He was arrested on September 22, 2022, and held in pre-trial detention under a broad provision of the penal code that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news for critical posts he made on his Facebook page. Myat Thu Tan had not been tried or convicted at the time of his death.

The journalist’s body was found buried in a bomb shelter, with the bodies of six other political detainees, and showed signs of torture.

Myanmar’s military junta has cracked down on journalists and media outlets since seizing power in a February 2021 coup.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

journalists killed in 2024 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2023
missing globally