According to a Constitutional Court decision (file no. I. ÚS 4037/18), when dealing with journalists, law enforcement agencies must refrain from any actions that might suggest that those journalists are treated differently – in particular, more strictly –  than other persons.

In the case at hand, the court examined a fine which had been imposed on a journalist who failed to appear to explain a suspected offence. The court concluded that – in the circumstances – the fine  might reasonably have been perceived as bullying or intimidation. The case concerned the questioning of an investigative journalist about his work. According to the court, an excessively high fine might be seen as an attempt to dissuade the journalist from exercising his right to withhold information under the Press Act. As such, it would be a violation of freedom of the press.

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