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 retorted at the press conference held on 23.11.2016. This verbal attack by the Prime Minister not only went beyond all bounds of decency, but also represents a 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 declaratory labelled only certain journalists as “dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes”. 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 a constitutional post.
Tibor Macák, General Secretary of Association of European JournalistsJuraj Alner, founder of Slovak Section of AEJ, Honorary International Secretary of AEJJúlius Lőrincz, AEJ member, Chair of Press Council of the Slovak Republic Bratislava, 23 November 2016