The Slovak Section of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) is highly disturbed at the statements of Prime Minister Robert Fico targeted at journalists, which he uttered at a press conference held on 23 November.This verbal attack by the Prime Minister, in which he spoke of some journalists as “dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes”, not only went beyond all bounds of decency, but also representsa dangerous precedent for continued denigration of the work of journalists in public, which could pose a threat to freedom of expression and of the press in Slovakia.
This is not the first time Robert Fico has verbally assaulted professionals from the media, while there are no known examples of him ever apologising for his comments. We therefore call on the Prime Minister to do so on this occasion, regardless of the fact that he directed his demeaning and offensive remark at certain unnamed journalists. We are convinced that basic ethical values, namely respecting personal freedom, human rights and the integrity of citizens, decency and justice, are binding not only for journalists, but also for politicians holding high constitutional office.
Tibor Macák, General Secretary of Association of European Journalists
Juraj Alner, founder of Slovak Section of AEJ, Honorary International Secretary of AEJ
Július Lőrincz, AEJ member, Chair of Press Council of the Slovak Republic