October 2, 2001


Vienna, 02/10/2001

Milan Kucan
President of Slovenia


Janez Drnovsek
Prime Minister, Slovenia

Rado Bohinc
Minister of Internal Affairs, Slovenia


Your Excellency,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South Eastern Europe,is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Republic of Slovenia.

In particular, SEEMO is worried that more than seven months after Miro Petek, an investigative reporter for the Slovene daily, Vecer, was attacked in front of his house in Mezica, the attackers have still not been apprehended.

Petek, who reports on the connection between politicians and criminals, was attacked on 28 February. The attackers broke his nose, and his skull, jaw and cheek-bones were fractured. As a result of the attack, he lost his sense of smell, his eyesight is poor, and he was unable to work for five months.

In SEEMO’s opinion, the fact that the Slovene police, in a press conference on 3 September, attacked the country’s journalists for claiming that the investigation into the case was ineffective and even blamed the media for the inefficiency of the police, is proof that the authorities are investigating the case in an unprofessional manner.

SEEMO urges Your Excellency to do everything in your power to find the attackers of Petek and to ensure the safety of journalists working in Slovenia. We also urge the authorities to end the intimidation of Slovenia´s journalists, who have an important observer role in SEEMO, and remind you that journalists play an essential role in any democratic society.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

Secretary General