The temporary ban on publication of journalist Tom Nicholson's book about corruption in Slovakia issued by a Bratislava district court represents an unprecedented violation of freedom of speech and an unconstitutional attempt to influence public opinion, stated the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) on February 7, the TASR newswire reported.
"This is a dangerous precedent. SSN fully respects the independence of the Slovak judiciary and hopes that, despite the decision of the Bratislava I District Court on the still unpublished book by Tom Nicholson, the Slovak court system will respect the right to voice an opinion. With this verdict, the court turned back the clock to pre-1968, when it was possible to publish only what had been approved by state authorities on press supervision," stated the SSN, as quoted by TASR.
The court’s ruling elicited scathing criticism also from the Slovak office of the International Press Institute (IPI).
"IPI Slovakia demands an immediate overturning of this verdict by a higher court and to have the basic human right to freedom of speech secured," stated Pavol Múdry, the chairman of IPI Slovakia, as quoted by TASR.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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