Three Slovaks awarded for pursuing human rights

The US Embassy in Slovakia granted the awards for the eighth time.

l-r: journalist Adam Valček, US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling, activist Zuzana Petková and lawyer Roman Kvasnical-r: journalist Adam Valček, US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling, activist Zuzana Petková and lawyer Roman Kvasnica(Source: US Embassy's Facebook)

The US Embassy in Slovakia awarded three Slovaks for pursuing human and women's rights and transparency in Slovakia.

The awards were granted for the eighth time.

“This is an important opportunity for us to recognise all of you for your work to promote values that unite Slovaks and Americans, including human rights, good governance and transparency,” said US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling, who presented the awards on April 25.

The ceremony is also a chance to reflect on Slovakia’s journey over the past year, Sterling continued, recalling the shock following the murder of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.

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“That shock made us remember how much we need courageous journalists and free press to safeguard our democratic societies,” Sterling stressed.

In this respect, he also recalled the protest gatherings that followed and how Slovaks inspired them with their determination to defend democracy and live in a decent society.

Who are the laureates?

Ex-journalist and head of the Stop Corruption Foundation Zuzana Petková received the Woman of Courage award for her relentless efforts to inform the Slovak public and fight against corruption. Petková is one of the leading representatives of investigative journalists and, as chair of the foundation, is seeking solutions to protect whistleblowers. At the same time, she leads in a dialogue with the government and raises awareness about negative impacts of corruption, the SITA newswire reported.

Lawyer Roman Kvasnica was granted the Human Rights Award for his involvement and principled defence of people and organisations whose human rights have been overlooked or violated. He is currently defending six Roma who are being persecuted for false testimony and perjury in the case of the police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou (Košice Region) back in 2013. He also represents Zlatica Kušnírová, the mother of Martina Kušnírová. For 12 years he defended Hedviga Žáková, née Malinová, who was charged with perjury, SITA wrote.

Investigative journalist Adam Valček received the Ján Kuciak Transparency Award for his courage and deployment in revealing the truth. In his reports, he has revealed several dubious business transactions and frauds, SITA reported.

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