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Kubiš: OSCE comments on Press Act should be respected

Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš on March 12 said he hoped that in their amending proposals on the Press Act in second reading, Slovak MPs would also take into account the comments from international organisations.

Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš on March 12 said he hoped that in their amending proposals on the Press Act in second reading, Slovak MPs would also take into account the comments from international organisations.

"From my point of view, many of their statements were factual, and I assume that Slovak MPs could take into consideration the arguments from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), or the Council of Europe," Kubiš said following the Government session.

He added that the bill is modern, which, in his opinion, has also been recognised by partners from international organisations, the TASR wrote. Miklós Haraszti, OSCE representative on Media Freedom, asked the Government in January to withdraw the proposed Press Act in its current form because, among other things, it includes passages that suppress media freedom.

Kubiš said that the annual report of US Department of State on the state of human rights in the world in 2007, published on March 12, in principle confirmed a positive assessment of the situation in Slovakia. However, in the 'Freedom of Speech and Press' part, the US report says that public-legal media were under the pressure of Government, and it also touches on Slovak Television management's efforts to put pressure on reporters to make them carry positive information about the Government Coalition. In addition, the report says that in 2007 the Slovak Government respected the human rights of its citizens in general in spite of the persistent problems in some areas. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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