In his latest EU Monitor, Žiga Faktor examines the backsliding of democracy in Slovenia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specific journalists also became victims of defamation on social media, such as Meta Roglič, Suzana Perman, Klara Širovnik, or most prominently Blaž Zgaga, a profound investigative reporter, who was cooperating with The Guardian or The Observer and is currently a correspondent to RSF .As a part of emergency measures adopted by the government in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, public gatherings were prohibited, which was also effective for daily press conferences of the Crisis Headquarters, meaning that those would be held without journalists, who could only send their questions in advance through email. Moreover, reporting on some areas directly linked to the pandemic, such as sanitary situation, was prohibited under a risk of imprisonment, while access to basic information about governmental response to the health crisis was limited to press conferences only. Mr. Zgaga contacted Crisis Headquarters, enquiring on the necessity of these limitations and called for a stronger protection of journalists under these new restrictions. Instead of receiving a response, Crisis Headquarters announced that Mr . Zgaga and a couple of other prominent public figures such as Slavoj Žižek, world-famous philosopher, escaped from a quarantine after being diagnosed with COVID-Marx/Lenin, an exaggerated disinformation which was later taken over by pro-government media, creating a smear campaign, as anonymous social media users started sending death threats to Mr. Zgaga.
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