Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Slovakia


-  Surface area: 49,016 sq. km.
-  Population: 5,399,000
-  Languages: Slovak, Hungarian, Czech
-  Type of State: unitary republic
-  Head of State: Rudolf Schuster
-  Head of Government: Mikulas Dzurinda

Slovakia - Annual report 2002

Generally speaking, the Slovak press enjoys a pluralistic and democratic environment. In 2001 the libel law represents one of the last obstacles to free information.

Criticism by the press of political and administrative authorities can still be repressed by the existing libel laws. The legal proceedings lodged against a journalist in June 2001 by the chancellery of the President of the Republic, Rudolf Schuster, sparked a debate in parliament and signalled the start of a process for revising the articles of the law in question. On 8 November parliament rejected the draft revision of the articles by a majority of one. As a candidate for entry into the European Union, Slovakia ratified the European Convention of Human Rights at the end of the year.

Pressure and obstruction

In June 2001 Ales Kratky, journalist for the daily, Novy Cas, was sued for "public libel against the President in the exercise of his duties and activities", an infraction punishable by more than two months in prison as set out in provision 103 of the penal code. In an article published 26 May, Kratky wrote that President Rudolf Schuster showed "signs of mental incompetence to run a country trying to become a modern and developed nation" and demonstrated an "arrogant and selfish state of mind". On 26 June the President’s spokesman said that the action against Ales Kratky "would serve as a warning for other" journalists. Placed on forced paid leave by Novy Cas’s editorial board, the journalist was banned from writing for a month. Between June and November the process undertaken in parliament with a view to abolishing the libel law raised the hope that the legal proceedings would be dropped. But those hopes were dashed when parliament narrowly rejected the new law. Upon learning of the vote’s outcome, Ales Kratky said, "Unfortunately in the Slovak parliament, as in the office of the Republic’s President, there are people who need holdover laws from the communist period to give them more rights than other Slovak citizens."



asia countries list
1 - Europe Introduction
Albania
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus (northern part)
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
F.R. Yougoslavia
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Moldova
Romania
Russi
Spain
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan

see also
Introduction
Annual report 2002

Hard times for press freedom
Africa annual report 2002
Asia annual report 2002
Americas annual report 2002
Maghreb / Middle-East annual report 2002