Free Press Unlimited writes letter to the Slovak government

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at the EU Summit
Image credit
Alexandros Michailidis

The new government of Slovakia that started after the elections of 30 September has decided to amend the whistle blowing law to a degree that it no longer serves the purpose. Which is to protect investigative journalists and their sources for retaliation by powerful corporations, wealthy individuals and corporations. In the letter a group of Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression activists and anti-corruptions watchdogs raise the alarm about the proposed changes of a law that was already adopted. 

The adoption of the EU Whistle Blower Directive in November 2019 was an important achievement of the advocacy of a coalition of the Whistle blowers International Network, Transparency International and Free Press Unlimited. Protection of whistle blowers is a crucial need in order to ensure that investigative journalists can work with the public disclosure of whistle blowers that uncover malpractices to ensure that governments and corporations do not cause public harm.

An EU directive needs to be included in national legislation, a process that is called transposition. The transposition law that was adopted by the Slovak parliament in May 2023 provided guarantees. The new proposal that the new elected government is attempting to push through parliament contains worrying elements that renders the law ineffective and risks jeopardising the rights of journalists to protect sources and themselves from retaliation. For more detail of the new law, read here the letter Free Press Unlimited co-signed:

This new development in Slovakia is particularly worrying as it is the country in which the brutal murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee took place, who was specifically targeted for his investigations into collusion and corruption of high ranking government officials and businessmen. 

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