High-level corruption and threats against minorities. US report evaluates human rights practices in Slovakia

Slovakia alongside its closest allies and partners is considering improving human rights and democracy as a central pillar of its interest and value policies at home and also abroad.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR/Police)

High-level corruption, violence and threats against Roma and other minorities, and the violence and threats targeting LGBTI people, are among the most significant human rights issues Slovakia had to face last year.

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This stems from the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, presented by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The 45th edition monitors the situation in almost 200 countries across the globe.

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“The government investigated reports of abuses by members of the security forces and other government institutions, although some observers questioned the thoroughness of these investigations,” the report reads. “Some officials engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”

The document also mentioned the trial of the case of the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, restricted movement during the Covid-19 pandemic and the investigation of high-ranking figures due to corruption.

“The police initiated a series of interconnected, high-level, and unprecedented corruption investigations beginning in March and continuing through December, leading to the arrests of more than 30 current and former officials as well as notable members of the business community,” the report reads, mentioning Dušan Kováčik, Tibor Gašpar, the suicide of Milan Lučanský and the detention of Jaroslav Haščák of Penta.

Slovak ministry responds

The Foreign Affairs Ministry responded that Slovakia, alongside its closest allies and partners, is considering improving human rights and democracy as a central pillar of its interest and value policies at home and also abroad.

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“The world is confronted with the growth of authoritarian regimes and it is ever more vital that democracies talk together openly and cooperate actively,” said Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO), currently at the helm of the foreign affairs department. “I therefore appreciate the return of the United States to effective multilateralism, in particular its commitment to the UN Human Rights Council as well as other international human rights platforms.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry will share the evaluation and information concerning Slovakia with the ministries nationally responsible for improving the human rights situation in the country.

Disclaimer: The Penta financial group has a minority share in Petit Press, the publisher of the Sme daily and the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

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