On 20 and 21 February 2023, a delegation of international media freedom organisations will conduct a joint mission to Bratislava to mark the five-year anniversary of the killing of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
The aim of the mission is twofold. Firstly, the aim is to take part in anniversary events and express solidarity with families and the Slovak journalistic community as the retrial for the alleged mastermind at the Specialised Criminal Court reaches its final stage.
Secondly, five years after the assassination, we aim to evaluate the security of journalists and the legal framework for their work, to understand the challenges facing independent journalism in private and public media, and to take the pulse of overall press freedom in the country.
The main question the delegation will seek to answer is: five years on from the killing, have the changes made in Slovak politics, legislation, law enforcement, media industry and society been systemic enough to ensure the murder of a journalist never happens again and that media professionals can work freely?
The International Press Institute (IPI), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and ARTICLE 19 Europe will join the mission, which is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR).
During the visit, the delegation will meet with editors and journalists with the major Slovak media outlets, including the public broadcaster RTVS. The organisations will discuss their proposals for the improvement of press freedom at meetings with representatives from the government, the opposition, police presidency officials, the chief prosecutor’s office and other public officials. Members of the delegation will speak at the conference ‘Media Freedom 2023‘ scheduled to take place on 20 February in Bratislava and organised the Ministry of Culture under the auspices of the Media Freedom Coalition.
Interim findings for the mission will be shared via a press conference at 15.00 CET on 21 February at the European Information Centre, Palisády 29, 811 06 Staré Mesto, Bratislava.
For more information and press contacts, please contact:
Flutura Kusari, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, [email protected] +383 49 236 664
Pavol Szalai, Reporters Without Borders, [email protected], +33 7 82 31 50 98
Jamie Wiseman, International Press Institute, [email protected]