Freedom of press in the Czech Republic

20-11-2001

Ever since coming to office three years ago, Milos Zeman's Social Democrat government has been involved in various conflicts with the press. The latest came in mid-October, when Prime Minister Zeman took offence to an article in the critical Czech weekly, Respekt. A commentator in the paper - which has always been hostile to the Social Democrats - claimed Mr Zeman's cabinet was corrupt from top to bottom. Mr Zeman was furious, and threatened to bury Respekt in lawsuits, with the aim of forcing it out of business. There followed a fierce debate on the freedom speech in the Czech Republic. Nicole Klement examines the issue in this week's Talking Point.