Združenje novinarjev in publicistov
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Report on the Freedom of the Press in Slovenia for 2010 natisni

In the Annual Report on the Freedom of the Press in Slovenia for 2010, the Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) draws attention to the increasing pressure exerted by the ruling power on the Slovenian media. The greatest problem is presented by criminal prosecutions against the journalists, which are conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Slovenia, ex officio, at the request of state and municipal officials. One such example is the police investigation launched by the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković. Just before the end of the year, Mayor Janković requested the police to interrogate the Editor-in-Chief of the Reporter magazine Silvester Šurla, who, in his comment, criticised the inviolability of Mayor Janković and his political involvement in some suspicious business activities, which was also covered by the media. To continue, immediately after New Year, the State Prosecutor’s Office lodged an indictment against the journalist of Delo Borut Tavčar, which was again requested by the Mayor Zoran Janković. Tavčar had to face charges, because he had made some funny statements concerning the relations between the City Administration and the holding of public companies owned by the City Municipality of Ljubljana. The Mayor of Ljubljana also requested criminal prosecution against the caricaturist Miki Muster and the Editor of Finance Uroš Urbas, but the State Prosecutor's Office turned him down. A few months earlier, the Association of Journalists and Commentators condemned criminal prosecution of the journalists from multiple newspaper companies, who had criticised the work of the Judge Mojca Kocjančič Zalar, the wife of the Minister of Justice, Aleš Zalar.

We repeatedly requested amendments to the infamous provisions of the Penal Code, which enable the state and local officials to launch criminal prosecution against the journalists who had supposedly offended them, but the Ministry of Justice rejected our request, explaining that the current regulation in the Penal Code is entirely appropriate. This regulation used to protect the rulers of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the then system (the so called »verbal delicts«) and was later preserved in the Penal Code of the democratic Slovenian state. Moreover, in 2008 the National Assembly extended this privilege to the Mayors. According to the currently valid Penal Code, journalists and Editors-in-Chief could be imposed a fine or punished by imprisonment of up to six months for insulting a state or local official. In our opinion, the State authorises such procedures against journalists to intimidate them and to encourage self-censorship. In such a manner and with the help of repressive bodies, the state and local officials try to suppress every criticism of their work, which represents not only an attack on the freedom of the public word but also on the fundamental values of democracy.

 Also problematic is the announcement of an interrogation of journalists who had been writing for the newspapers Slovenski tednik and Ekspres, the publishing of which took place a few months before the election in 2008. The interrogation was announced by the member of the governmental party SD (Social Democrats) Melita Župevc, the President of the Commission of Inquiry, which investigates the political responsibility of public officials who might be involved in the publishing and financing of the aforementioned newspapers. In our opinion, this Commission has the legal power to investigate only public officials and not journalists. Our Association strongly objects to the idea that the journalists writing for the previously mentioned newspapers should be brought before the politicians, which will result only in the public lynching of those journalists who are not in favour of the currently ruling coalition. We believe that such interrogation also represents a political attack on the freedom of the press and a degradation of the journalist’s profession, therefore we warned the journalists not to cooperate with such Commissions.

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Second Interim Report of the Association of Journalists and Commentators on the Freedom of the Press in Slovenia for 2010 natisni

In its second Interim Report on the Freedom of the Press in Slovenia for 2010, the Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) draws attention to the increasing pressure exerted by the ruling power on the Slovenian media. Prior to the referendum on the Radio and Television Corporation of Slovenia Act, some of the ruling politicians and columnists in favour of these politicians began to reveal more explicitly their wishes to replace some journalists on the national television. At his withdrawal from the political group of the largest governmental party SD (Social Democrats), the MP Andrej Magajna stated that his parliamentary colleagues talked about certain journalists who were to be removed after the new Act enters into force. To continue, he also said that his colleagues from the SD political group were extremely bothered by the broadcasts about the communist massacres in Slovenia after World War II, and in particular by the journalists Jože Možina and Rosvita Pesek.  Furthermore, the MPs of the ruling coalition and their columnists are also extremely bothered by some journalists who criticize the ruling power, among others also by the creators of the broadcast entitled “Pogledi Slovenije” (“Views of Slovenia”) hosted by Uroš Slak, a former host of the political show entitled “Trenja” (“Clashes”) on the commercial television POP TV, which was cancelled in June last year due to political pressure.  In addition, when asked about the purges on the Radio and Television Slovenia (RTV SLO), the Head of the political group of the second largest coalition party Zares, Cveta Zalokar Oražem, declared that it would do no harm if some of the “bad” journalists lost their jobs, which raises even more concerns that such dismissals of journalists, who are disliked by the ruling coalition, will really take place.

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Report of the ZNP on the Freedom of the Press in Slovenia for year 2009 natisni
The Association of Journalists and Commentators (ZNP) points out that the reports of the international organisations on human rights in Slovenia are not complete regarding the media and freedom of the press. Therefore and in order to provide a supplemented and a more comprehensive insight, the Association offers the following report on the freedom of the press in Slovenia and the situation in the field of media. The Association was established on 14 November 2007 as a response to the political bias of the Association of Journalists of Slovenia, which has often misused journalism for the interests of the left political option that has haad the authority most of the time. This was also the case in the matter of the journalists’ petition against censorship and political pressure, which raised accusations against the then Government of Janez Janša but also neglected political pressure and censorship by the politicians and parties of the left political option due to their own political orientation. The Association of Journalists and Commentators connects journalists and editors of various media and regular commentators in the Slovenian media, whose principal activity is not journalism.  
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