Afrique Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Slovakia


-  Area: 49,010 sq.km.
-  Population: 5,398,000
-  Languages: Slovak, Hungarian, Czech
-  Type of state: republic
-  Head of state: President Rudolf Schuster

Slovakia - 2004 Annual report

New laws helped to boost press freedom substantially as part of the country’s upcoming membership of the European Union. But 2003 was marred by the revelation that the intelligence services had tapped a daily newspaper’s phones.

Reforms made by the government in preparation for joining the European Union on 1 May 2004 greatly enhanced press freedom. The law on defamation, which was the main obstacle to journalists working freely, had been amended in 2002 to abolish prison terms for press offences and for defaming the country, government, parliament, the constitutional court and the president.
But 2003 was marked by a scandal involving the secret service’s illegal tapping of the daily paper Sme’s phones. It was discovered by the military prosecutor office during an investigation of the tapping of parliamentary vice-president Pavol Rusko’s phones.

Harassment and obstruction

The military prosecutor’s office announced in July 2003 that staff phones at the daily paper Sme had been tapped by the intelligence service (SIS) without a court order and conversations recorded between journalists and the then vice-president of parliament, Pavol Rusko. The SIS said on 14 July that eight members of its phone-tapping department had been suspended. Two days later, President Rudolf Schuster said the tapping was aimed at threatening Rusko or making him talk. An investigation into such improper intelligence service surveillance was launched in January.



Introduction Europe and the former Soviet bloc countries - 2004 Annual Report
Albania
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bosnia-Herzgovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus (northern part)
Czech republic
France
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Macedonia
Moldova
Poland
Romania
Russia
Serbia-Montenegro
Spain
Sweden
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan

by continent
2004 Americas Annual Report
2004 Asia Annual Report
2004 Africa Annual Report
2004 North Africa and the Middle East Annual Report
2004 Europe Annual Report

Annual report 2003