Czech President Says He Wishes to "Liquidate" Journalists

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Year 16 May 2017 Country Czech Republic Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
16 May 2017 Czech Republic E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Level 2
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During a press conference held in China on 14 May 2017, Czech President Miloš Zeman joked to Russian President Vladimir Putin that there were too many journalists and that they should be "liquidated", broadcasting station Radio Praha reported. Putin reacted with a smile and indicated that such measures were not required but that the number of journalists could be "reduced", Radio Praha reported. Their conversation was captured by a television microphone and posted on social media. On Sunday, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek expressed a strong objection to what Zeman’s office later claimed was a “joke”, suggesting that such remarks were inappropriate with Mr Putin or anyone else. The president's spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, described Mr Zeman's remarks as a mere witticism or bon mot, Radio Praha reported.

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