Transparency International condemns the murders of Ján Kuciak, a Slovakian investigative journalist, and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová. Kuciak and Kušnírová were shot dead in Kuciak’s home in Velka Maca, Slovakia, between Thursday, 22 February and Sunday, 25 February.
At a press conference today, the president of the Slovakian police Tibor Gaspar said that the murders were likely related to Kuciak’s investigative work. Kuciak’s reporting often focused on corruption, including investigations into suspected corrupt business practices related to luxury property in Bratislava.
“Ján was one of the most talented young journalists in our country,” said Gabriel Sipos, director of Transparency International Slovakia. “The ability to uncover the background of corruption and fraud is rare in Slovakia, but he had the courage and drive to do it, and he did it well.”
Transparency International urges the authorities in Slovakia to follow through on the government’s commitment to quickly bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice and ensure the safety of all journalists moving forward. Anti-corruption activists rely on the important work done by investigative journalists to shine a light on corruption.
Ján Kuciak will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family, and that of Martina Kušnírová.
As part of a broader effort to promote press freedom worldwide, in September 2017, Transparency International joined the #ProtectJournalists campaign to call for the United Nations to appoint a special representative for the safety of journalists. Initiated by Reporters Without Borders, the campaign is supported by a coalition of more than 130 media outlets and non-government organisations. For more information on the #ProtectJournalists campaign, visit: https://rsf.org/en/protector-journalists
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