Slovenia: MFRR calls on Prime Minister Jansa to stop tweeting insults

Press-ECPMF

09 June 2021

No Comments

mfrr logo

9 June 2021

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are dismayed by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša’s disparaging tweet about Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. On 6 June 2021, Prime Minister Janša said the Commissioner is “part of #fakenews network” in response to her recent memorandum on freedom of expression and media freedom in Slovenia. The Prime Minister’s tweet quoted Mitja Iršič, a public relations expert at the Ministry of Culture, who said their considerations were not properly represented and called the Commissioner’s report “biased and ill-informed.”

We welcome Commissioner Mijatović’ memorandum and share her concerns about the deterioration of media freedom in Slovenia, which align with the findings of our recent fact-finding mission to the country, the report on which is forthcoming. We also note that the Commissioner’s office functions independently and impartially, which we find is reflected in her recent report. Together with the 16-page memorandum, the Commissioner moreover published a 6-page document with comments from the Slovenian authorities, with whom she also met in April during an online dialogue.

We consider the tone and manner in which Prime Minister Janša opted to voice his disagreement with Commissioner Mijatović’ memorandum to be wholly inappropriate for a leader of a democratic European state. The irony of these remarks about a report that expresses concern precisely about the behaviour of public figures, including the Prime Minister, on social media, where they undermine journalists’ credibility “accusing them of lying, and using offensive hashtags such as #fakenews,” is palpable.

The MFRR calls on Prime Minister Janša to cease denigrating the report and instead take action to address its findings. That includes abstaining from making offensive, mendacious or disparaging comments on social media, which contribute to a hostile environment for journalists and media workers in Slovenia and, specifically with regard to the tweet about Commissioner Mijatović, an unwelcome coarsening of the European public debate.

Signed by:

Article 19

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

International Press Institute (IPI)

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

Read news by categories:

Related news

Statement

Hungary: Draft Sovereignty Protection Act poses fresh threat to independent media

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today alerts the European Union about the chilling impact that the Hungarian ruling party’s proposed Sovereignty Protection Act will have on what remains of the country’s embattled independent media community.

READ MORE
Statement

North Macedonia: Ruling against Investigative Reporting Lab and its editor must be overturned

The organisations of the MFRR and the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) today express shared dismay at a recent defamation verdict by a judge in North Macedonia which recommends shutting down one of the country’s leading investigative media outlets.

READ MORE
Statement

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska president Dodik verbally attacks journalist

The undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today condemn the insulting and threatening behaviour of the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, towards journalist Snezana Mitrović and her employer N1 television.

READ MORE
Statement

Italy: MFRR partners condemn summons of RAI presenter Sigfrido Ranucci

As the Turkish Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of the "disinformation offence”, the MFRR partner organisations reiterate their call for the annulment of Article 217/A of the Turkish Penal Code.

READ MORE
Statement

The Netherlands: The MFRR and the CASE deplore the lawsuit against Het Financieele Dagblad

ECPMF joins the MFRR consortium and the CASE coalition in deploring the lawsuit against Het Financieele Dagblad and stands in solidarity with the FD and its journalists.

READ MORE
Statement

Turkey: Repeal the “disinformation offence” and overreaching legal amendments

As the Turkish Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of the "disinformation offence”, the MFRR partner organisations reiterate their call for the annulment of Article 217/A of the Turkish Penal Code.

READ MORE