Forced resignation of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico

April 9, 2018 Weekly Graphs

On March 9 Bratislava was the stage to the biggest demonstration in Slovakia since the fall of the communist regime. Around 40,000 people joined anti-government protests in the capital on Friday, in outrage and disbelief over the murdering of a journalist investigating corruption. His death prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Fico and other officials.

This week’s graph examines the extent to which individual journalists, while engaged in legitimate journalistic activities, are harassed, threatened with libel, arrested, beaten, or killed by governmental or powerful nongovernmental actors. We compare V-Dem’s Harassment of journalists indicator to that of the other countries of the Visegrád Group: Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic. The lowest score on the indicator indicates that journalists do not dare to engage in journalistic activities that might offend powerful actors because of the near certainty of harassment or worse, while the highest score indicates the absence of such risks. After the fall of the communism, the situation for journalists improved substantially across the countries in the region. However, in both Poland and Hungary, with the rise of more illiberal governments, there has been deterioration in the most recent period. Of the four countries Slovakia has the lowest scores on the indicator, which may reflect the recent events in the country. 

If you want to learn more about the situation for journalist in the Visegrád countries, use our online analysis tools at


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