Can journalists turn to police when threatened?

In the past, journalists who tried to turn to police because of threats were usually turned down.

Marián KočnerMarián Kočner (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

In connection with the murder of Aktuality.sk reporter, Ján Kuciak, Police President Tibor Gašpar appealed to journalists not to be afraid to cooperate with police in other cases. If they fear for their lives, they can turn to police, according to him.

However, the experience of journalists or other threatened people has shown that investigators do not care very much about threats. Even the way police dealt with the criminal complaint filed by Ján Kuciak after receiving threats shows that police do not take such complaints seriously, journalist Arpád Soltész claims.

“There has never been such a trust between journalists and police that we would formally ask them for protection,” Soltész said.

Threats allegedly ignored

Journalist and blogger, Júlia Mikolášiková, faced threats when she wrote about ties between police and politicians and entrepreneurs close to the Sýkorovci criminal gang. At the same time, she also investigated circumstances under which Róbert Lališ, who may have been helped by police officers, fled.

In February 2015, shortly after she joined the Aktálne.sk news website, a person approached her in a Bratislava bar and asked her to stop exploring the issue.

“He asked me to delete all the stories I wrote on my blog concerning this issue, as otherwise one of the people involved in the story would discredit me and make sure I was fired and compromised,” Mikolášiková said. It took one month before a detective made an official record with her. The record was split into five parts, as he was always recalled by his superior, according to Mikolášiková.

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