Brno, March 7 (CTK) – About 200 people attended a meeting in support of free journalism in Brno on Wednesday, expressing solidarity with the journalistic profession which, they said, is very useful, though downgraded by many.
“We appreciate their courage and ardour,” Jan Gerych said on behalf of the organisers, referring to journalists.
“A journalist is always an endangered species,” said writer Pavel Sanda.
The speakers criticised the statements by some politicians who have shown contempt for journalists, such as President Milos Zeman.
During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last year, Zeman wondered at the high number of journalists present and said there are many journalists and it would be good to “liquidate” them.
One of the motives of the Brno demonstration on Wednesday was the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who worked for Aktuality.sk, and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova, who were shot dead, both at the age of 27, by an unknown perpetrator in their house in west Slovakia in late February.
According to one of the speakers on Wednesday, psychologist Hynek Cigler, Zeman should bestow a Czech state award in memoriam on Kuciak and Kusnirova.
In Slovakia, the double murder has aroused a political crisis, with PM Robert Fico, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (both Smer-Social Democracy) and Police President Tibor Gaspar facing strong criticism.
At the meeting, David Pasztor, a journalism student coming from Slovakia, called on Slovaks living in Brno to join ongoing protest rallies in Bratislava.
“It will be a great thing. The year 1989 might repeat,” Pasztor said.