07 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 07 Sep 2018 Czech Republic

Czech President Expresses Regret That Journalists Not Yet Extinct

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
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Czech President Milos Zeman launched an attack on Czech journalists, saying that although their intelligence was on the same level as that of the dodo, unlike the dodo they were not yet an extinct species.

In a speech delivered to a gathering of Czech diplomats on 29 August 2018 and broadcast by Czech TV, Zeman said: "I am convinced that the intelligence of Czech journalists is sometimes on the level of the dodo, a creature that used to live on Madagascar (sic), but which was rightly wiped out. It hasn't yet been possible to wipe out Czech journalists."

Zeman's remarks - which are only the latest in a series of comments he has made denigrating and threatening journalists - provoked an outcry in the Czech media and on social media platforms. Michal Kubal, the head of foreign news at Czech TV, pointed out on Twitter that the president's remarks had come 190 days after the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner.
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