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We strongly condemn the murder of PhD student Ján Kuciak and his fiancée

The European Students Union (ESU) and the Student Council for Higher Education of the Slovak Republic (ŠRVŠ) abhor the murder of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée. This act of violence is of deep concern to all who believe in transparency and open democracy. Journalism is a critical aspect of accountability and democracy and it must be protected as such.

Sadly, this is not a single or isolated case, as journalists have been, and are being, threatened worldwide. It is totally unacceptable that over 1200 journalists have been murdered since 1992 according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The murder of Ján Kuciak, PhD student at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, taking place shortly after journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia murder in Malta last year, represents the dangers many journalists bravely face in uncovering truth and informing societies. This murder also reminds the atrocious killing of PhD student at Cambridge, Giulio Regeni, who was tortured and killed in Cairo while researching Egypt’s independent trade unions. Our members from Malta, the University Students’ Council (KSU) and Italy, University Students’ Union (UdU) strongly condemn acts of violence against academic freedom and freedom of press.

ESU and ŠRVŠ call for a quick, thorough and transparent investigation to ensure the perpetrators of this attack face the full rigours of the law. Press freedom, academic freedom and freedom of speech are the fundamental pillars of democracy. No one should pay the highest price for actively bringing forward these freedoms. The deaths of Regeni, Caruana Galizia and Kuciak are direct attacks on democracy and cannot be forgotten.

ESU believes that living in societies where freedom of speech and expression, freedom of the press, and the right to live in a democratic country is of utmost importance. We are ready to fight for these freedoms with the same determination, as we have been fighting for student rights since 1982.


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