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OSCE official expresses concern about Slovak wiretapping of journalists

Dunja Mijatović, the representative for Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) expressed the concern of her organisation over the wiretapping of journalists in Slovakia and asked government authorities to ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, in a statement published on the OSCE website on November 25.

Dunja Mijatović, the representative for Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) expressed the concern of her organisation over the wiretapping of journalists in Slovakia and asked government authorities to ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, in a statement published on the OSCE website on November 25.

“Eavesdropping and surreptitious surveillance of journalists endangers media freedom and is against international standards and OSCE commitments,” wrote Mijatović.

The OSCE reaction was in response to a story broken by the Pravda and Nový Čas dailies on November 21 that has caused serious concern in the media: three Pravda reporters had been wiretapped by the Military Defence Intelligence (VOS) of Slovakia’s Defence Ministry. Nový Čas reported that the phone of the chief of Slovakia’s news television channel TA3 had also been tapped, claiming that it had transcripts of the phone conversations made by VOS.

“I welcome that the highest authorities have condemned these actions and ordered thorough investigations,” Mijatović wrote in a letter to Foreign Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda on November 25. She referred to Prime Minister Iveta Radičová’s public statement that wiretapping of journalists is incompatible with basic principles of democracy and rule of law.

The OSCE representative also requested the Slovak authorities to keep the OSCE informed on the progress of the investigation.

Source: OSCE website

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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