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Freedom of speech for Bush visit?

THE Czech Foreign Ministry says it respects Slovakia’s decision to ban two Czech citizens from entering Slovakia for ten years.

The two Czechs burnt a US flag during President George W Bush’s speech on Hviezdoslavovo square on February 24.

But several things happened during the speech that bordered on breaches of the right to freedom of speech, according to the daily SME.

For example, people were stopped from holding up protest signs by English-speaking security guards, who were on duty amongst the crowd.

The Interior Ministry refused to tell SME why the signs had been forbidden when they did not represent a security threat. They advised the paper to contact the US embassy in Bratislava.

When SME did call the US embassy, they in turn said the daily should contact the White House, as it was Washington that organized the event.

Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
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