Censorship
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Slovakia 🇸🇰 is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the southwest, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's mostly mountainous territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi), with a population of over 5.4 million. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, while the second largest city is Košice.

General censorship[]

The 2017 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders ranked Slovakia 17th out of 180 countries and the NGO Freedom House described its freedom of the press status as “free” in the last years. As to the existence of high criminal and civil defamation penalties, the requested damages are often very high, especially when coming from powerful figures such as politicians and businessmen. Prime Minister Robert Fico himself initiated several of these lawsuits during his first term: when asked about a corruption case during a news conference in November 2016, he addressed several journalists as “filthy anti-Slovak prostitutes”.

According to a 2016 study, although a high number of charges against journalists were moved through defamation charges, there were no final convictions of journalists for defamation between 2010 and 2014. Also judges are often among the plaintiffs in defamation cases against Slovakian journalists: for instance, in the so-called Bonanno case, eight judges sued the publishers of the tabloid Nový Čas in 2013 over an article and some photos depicting them while wearing blue ear protectors and sporting mock assault rifles at a party, which happened a few months after seven people were murdered by a gunman wearing similar ear protectors. In January 2014, the European Court of Human Rights awarded a total of €30,000 to Ringier Axel Springer, the owner of Nový Čas, since Slovak courts failed to protect the newspaper’s right to free expression in several cases. The Strasbourg Court found that the Slovakian courts failed to strike an appropriate balance between freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

Complaints regarding freedom of the press or access of journalists to information are received by the Press Council of Slovakia (TRSR)

Book censorship[]

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Internet censorship[]

in 2012, Jaroslav Haščák, co-owner of Penta- a private business implicated in the so-called Gorilla case, a major corruption scandal- unsuccessfully asked for court injunctions against several websites that had published the core files regarding such scandal, and against a related book by the Canadian-Slovakian investigative journalist Tom Nicholson. In 2013, police pressured Nicholson to reveal his sources.

Television censorship[]

The Slovakian state reduced funding for the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (RVR) from €1.19 million in 2013 to €1.13 million the following year, while doubling the amount the RVR was expected to collect in fees and fines. Some media experts have expressed concern that this choice could threaten broadcasting independence, incentivizing RVR to issue fines.

Recently, the takeover of the public broadcaster RTVS (Radio and Television of Slovakia) by Jaroslav Rezník raised concerns about possible political pressures on media. Rezník would allegedly have close ties with the conservative Slovak National Party (SNS) and works in the media sector since over 20 years. He used to head the Slovak Radio.

Video game censorship[]

External links[]

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