The Journalist Support Committee Condemns the Killing of Investigative Journalist in Slovakia
The investigative reporter, Jan Kuciak, 27, and his partner, Marina Kosnirova, were shot dead on Sunday 25 February 2018 in his apartment in Vel'ká Maca, 50 km from the capital, Bratislava. He was known for his work on investigations into the involvement of businessmen, who have controversial relations with senior politicians, tax evasion, and corruption. His last work was on the activities of renowned Slovak businessman Marian Kocner, who sent multiple threats to the journalist last year, and the police failed to do anything.
The Committee recalls that this crime is the second of its kind in the European Union. Five months ago, journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated by a car bomb in front of her home in Malta, on 16 October 2017, because of her investigative work and exposing corruption and tax evasion scandals known as Panama papers.
The Secretary-General of the Committee, Mr. Yaser Al-Sayegh expressed his condemn, stating: "We condemn in the strongest terms this serious offense to press freedom, which resulted in the death of journalist Jan Kociak. The press today loses a new pillar that was seeking reform in exposing corruption". Mr. Yasser expressed his concerns over the safety of investigative journalists, stating that: "We have seen many journalists who endanger their lives in order to achieve the lofty goal of uncovering the facts and delivering them to the world, a right guaranteed by international law, but today we face the crisis of protecting journalists, Especially investigative, from the hands of criminals who seek to find ways to silence free voices". The Secretary-General also called on the Slovakian Government to conduct a transparent and independent investigation and to bring the perpetrators to justice and put an end to any form of impunity.
The Secretary-General of the Committee concluded by expressing condolences and deep sorrow at this great loss. The Committee also paid tribute to its colleagues, the Association of European Journalists, its president, Mr. Otmar Lahudinsky, its Secretary-General, Mr. Tibor Makak, and its Vice-President, Ms. Saia Tsaousidou.
Journalist Support Committee - Switzerland
27 February 2018