13 June 1996


Journalist Bernard Nezmah sentenced to one month in prison for comments made against Slovene authorities

On 30 May 1996, journalist Bernard Nezmah, a contributor to the
weekly "Mladina", was sentenced to one month in prison and fined
under Article 169 of the Civil Code (insulting comments made by
the press). However, he was put on parole, so the sentence will
not take effect unless he commits a similar offence in the
future. In February 1995, Nezmah wrote an article in "Mladina"
that was critical of both the mayor of Ljubljana and the former
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitri Rupel, the latter of whom, a
member of the ruling Liberal-Democratic party, initiated legal
proceedings against Nezmah.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • pointing out that, while recognising that every citizen has the
    right to sue a newspaper or journalist for defamation, the
    penalty imposed on Bernard Nezmah is out of proportion with the
    supposed "crime"
  • expressing concern that the legal proceedings initiated against
    Nezmah could be used as a model for other political figures in
    Slovenia to intimidate journalists
  • expressing concern over the fact that the harassment of Nezmah
    occurred in a country where press freedom is respected relative
    to the other republics of the former Yugoslavia

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Milan Kucan
    President of the Republic of Slovenia
    Fax: +386 61 17 81 356

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris
    rsf (@) rsf.org
    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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