GENEVA (5 March 2018) – Slovakia must send a strong message there will be no impunity for attacks against journalists by conducting a thorough investigation into the killing of Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova, UN human rights experts said.
“The killing of the couple is a terrifying reminder of the vulnerability in which investigative journalism finds itself even in democratic countries such as Slovakia where freedom of the press is respected,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard.
Kuciak, a 27-year-old investigative reporter, and his partner, Martina Kusnirova, were found murdered in their apartment on 25 February, east of Bratislava. His journalistic work was based on reporting fraud and tax evasion among Slovak elites, for which he had allegedly received threats and public disqualifications in the past.
“We call on the authorities of Slovakia to bring those responsible for the killings of Mr. Kuciak and Ms. Kusnirova to justice, and to put in place all necessary measures to protect all journalists in Slovakia,” they said.
“Slovakia must live up to international human rights standards of protection of public freedoms, and guarantee that anyone who brings information on fraud and corruption to the public eye is duly protected from any act of retaliation.”