Murder of journalist: Slovak authorities must ensure safety of journalists

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović welcomes the progress made in the investigation of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak's murder but calls for vigilance.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja MijatovićCouncil of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović (Source: Council of Europe)

It has been a year since the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.

"My thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues, for whom this will have been an unimaginably difficult year," said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović in her statement.

At the same time, the commissioner welcomed a number of developments in the investigation, which have led to the arrest of four suspects involved in the murders and the possible identification of one person who may have ordered them.

"However, extreme vigilance is necessary to guarantee the independence of the investigation," said Mijatović.

Many reports, which suggest suspects allegedly had contacts or links with politicians and officials in the police and prosecution service, are a strong incentive for investigators to concentrate on the independence, she added.

Polarising rhetoric

Read also:Murder of journalist: How did Ján and Martina die? Read more 

Mijatović is concerned for the continuous occasions when politicians "engage in highly polarising rhetoric towards the media" despite the horrible murder of Kuciak and Kušnírová. Such rhetoric threatens the process of rebuilding trust, she added.

"There is a key role for public figures to ensure an enabling environment for journalists and refrain from adopting legislative measures that would interfere with media freedom," pointed out Mijatović.

Media freedom & safety of journalists

"The Slovak authorities have a duty to ensure media freedom and the safety of journalists in the country, including the provision of protection when journalists face threats," Mijatović claimed.

Special attention should be paid to investigative journalists, who may face intimidation and violence, the commissioner added.

"Their work is essential in a free and democratic society and strengthening it will be the best way to honour the memories of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová,” Mijatović pointed out.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Vražda novinára Jána Kuciaka

Read more articles by the topic
This article is also related to other trending topics
Ján Kuciak

Top stories

News digest: High-profile arrests and discussion on reopening schools continues

PM Matovič proposes pilot testing for schools. Slovakia will have the very first Slovak ambassador to the EU.

PM Igor Matovič has stepped into the debate about opening the schools for older children.

Another former police president reportedly charged in a corruption case

NAKA charged eight former high-ranking police, SIS and Financial Administration officials.

Milan Lučanský

Matovič could have made comments about the US rather than Mongolia

I am proud of what has been achieved in Slovakia, says Billy Altansukh.

Older children will not return to schools before Christmas

PM Igor Matovič still wants some pupils to return, he proposed a pilot testing plan.

The school in Trebišov.