The worrying decline in press freedom in central and eastern Europe

Even if he was aware that the ominous clouds were gathering on the horizon, Michal Badin thought of probably not having a day to cry one of his colleagues. This journalist works for the great site Slovak information, which belongs to the group Ringier Axel Springer. Since the assassination of Jan Kuciak, 27 years old, found dead in his home with his girlfriend, on the night of Sunday 25 Monday 26 February, it poses serious questions on the conditions for the exercise of his profession over the years to come.

“It has never been easy to make the investigation in my country, but I think that this will now be harder than ever,” he says. In fact, this is the first time a reporter is killed in one of the member countries of the european Union from the former communist bloc or Yugoslavia, since the beginning of their integration, in 2004.

Jan Kuciak was investigating the corruption and the ties between the business world and political elites. The police said that his death was “most likely related” to his / her professional activity. This precedent is a shock which shakes the whole region, causing anger and concern. In fact, it occurs in a context of decline are marked by great freedom of the press, while Russia still exerts its influence on this area dependent on it for energy.

“Speech unfriendly ”

“The deterioration of the conditions in which journalists must work is net in the last ten years “, says Pauline Adès-Mével, head of office Europe-Balkans Reporters without borders (RSF). “Elected officials are more likely to develop a discourse hostile to the media, which has implications when the reporters are on the ground. Then, there has been a concentration of media groups in the hands of a few oligarchs, who put themselves at the service of their…

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