NEW YORK—The murder of Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kušnírová is a brutal crime not just against an individual journalist who dedicated his career to reporting the truth, but also against press freedoms and democratic values in Europe, PEN America said today. 

Kuciak, whose murder was confirmed by The Slovak Spectator on February 26, was an investigative journalist at the website, where he had reported on tax fraud in connection to a businessman with close ties to Slovakia’s ruling Smer party. Police President Tibor Gašpar has already issued a statement tying Kuciak’s murder to his investigative work, the Spectator reported. 

Kuciak’s death comes just four months after the killing of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose murder has also been tied to her reporting on ​corruption and political cronyism in Malta.

“Ján Kuciak’s death is a reprehensible crime against all journalists and the democratic values they protect,” said PEN America Journalism and Press Freedom Project Manager Laura Macomber. ” Such crimes cannot be allowed ​to occur with impunity. The international community must stand in solidarity with Slovakia’s journalists to speak out against such unconscionable violence and ​ensure those guilty are held accountable.” 

In October 2017, PEN America issued a statement on the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia condemning the act as an egregious attack on journalists and press freedoms​ worldwide.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator: