Since taking office in March, Janša has attacked the investigative journalist Blaž Zgaga, who criticised some government measures taken over coronavirus as unlawful. An official government account retweeted a claim that the journalist was an “escaped psychiatric patient” and said he was suffering from “Covid-Marx/Lenin”.
Zgaga said the attacks had led to a wave of hate mail and threats. “I have been under police protection before, I have been smeared before, but I have never experienced anything like this,” he said.
A consortium of press freedom associations, including Reporters without Borders, wrote an an open letter to Věra Jourová, the EU commission’s vice-president for values and transparency, calling on her to take up the matter with the Slovenian government. It chronicled the series of smears on Zgaga and said “we fear for his life after supporters of the Slovenian government declared him an enemy of the state”.
“No hate, no threats, no personal attacks. Contact taken with Slovenia to discuss situation,” Jourová wrote on Twitter last week. Janša does not appear to be taking the rebuke seriously. “No single figure in Slovenian history has done more to discredit the journo community than this liar,” he wrote in response.The Guardian