Slovak journalists condemn arrest of Kazakh journalist

The Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) has sharply criticised the Slovak government for what it called its “groundless and brutal intervention” against Kazakh journalist Balli Marzec.

Marzec is a Polish citizen, who, on the morning of November 21, was arrested for protesting in front of the Presidential Palace while Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was meeting inside with Slovak President Gašparovič. But Marzec had a permit for the demonstration, so the SSN is saying the arrest violated her right to free speech.

According to regional police director Pavol Brath, Marzec was arrested because she used an amplifier to disrupt the playing of the national anthems and disobeyed police orders. A medical exam performed during her detention showed minor injuries. Marzec was released from police custody shortly before midnight, accompanied by the Polish consul.

Former interior minister Vladimír Palko has also criticised the police’s actions, and is calling on Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák to explain the situation, as well as other police interventions Palko views as having been inappropriate.

The SSN has since offered to have Marzec back to Slovakia for a working tour of the country. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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