US Embassy Presents Transparency Award to Jan Kuciak in Memoriam

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Murdered journalist Jan Kuciak (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 26 (TASR) – US Ambassador Adam Sterling on Wednesday evening awarded three Slovaks who last year demonstrated courage for promoting human rights and transparency in the country, TASR learnt on Thursday.

As part of the 7th annual human rights awards ceremony, the ambassador presented three annual human rights awards: the Human Rights Defender Award, the Transparency Award, and the Women of Courage Award.

Investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who was murdered along with his fiancée in February, was awarded the Transparency Award in memoriam for his articles on corruption as well as for his courage to seek the truth and personal sacrifice in the service of the public. The award will from now on bear his name – the Transparency Award in memory of Jan Kuciak. Kuciak’s family members as well as his colleagues from work accepted the award on his behalf.

“This is a historic time for human rights in Slovakia. Only two months ago, the terrible act that claimed the lives of two young people reminded everyone of the importance of press freedom in every democratic society,” said the US Ambassador, calling for an independent and professional investigation of the double murder.

Regarding the remaining two awardees, the Rights Defender Award was presented to evangelical theologist Ondrej Prostrednik for his public protection of vulnerable minority communities in Slovakia.

Mariana Kovacova, the founder and director of the Slniecko Center, received the Women of Courage Award for her long-lasting support and protection of the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.