Brussels, 20 March 2018
ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association and EMMA, the European magazine Media Association representing thousands of European Press publishers on European level are deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova and extends condolences to their family friends and colleagues. The 27 year old Slovakian reporter working for the news portal “Aktuality.sk” focusing on allegations of tax evasion and fraud was conducting important work for his community and his country. In light of this event EMMA and ENPA reiterates the importance of free and independent journalism for healthy democratic societies and we encourage all EU countries to ensure that journalists such as Mr. Kuciak can keep working freely by safeguarding the indispensable conditions for press freedom. In addition to safety, strong sustainable and viable economic business structures are essential to uphold high standards of professional journalism and a prerequisite to an independent media which plays a crucial role in ensuring the balance of power within our democracies.
Slovak Police Chief Tibor Gaspar stated that the murder could be connected to Mr. Kuciak’s work as an investigative journalist. If that is the case it would serve as a stark reminder to the European Union and Member States of the importance of constant efforts in upholding the highest democratic standards and taking positive measures to protect journalists and the media who are an essential pillar of open democracies.