Stories written by Ed Holt

Not Guilty Verdict in Kuciak Killing – a Chilling Message for Journalists

A Slovak businessman with alleged links to organised crime has been found not guilty of ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak in a ruling that has left press freedom campaigners and politicians shocked.

HIV Services Take a Backseat to COVID-19 in Russia

In Russia, which has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, an already fragile healthcare system is buckling under the pressure of dealing with COVID-19.

Ensuring Russia’s Sex Workers’ Rights Essential for Wider Gender Equality

Despite seeing a shift in attitudes towards them in recent years, Russian sex workers say they continue to struggle with marginalisation and criminalisation which poses a danger to them and the wider public.

Killer of Slovak Journalist Sentenced as Rights Groups Await further Convictions

Journalists and rights activists have welcomed the jailing of a man for the murders of Slovak investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, but say others involved in the killings must be convicted too if justice is to be fully served.


Harassment of Journalists Jeopardises Keeping Public Safe amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Growing intimidation and repression of journalists reporting on the coronavirus is threatening public health in some countries, press freedom monitors have warned.

Why Rich Countries must Protect Developing Nations from Coronavirus Pandemic

Governments in wealthy, first world countries must not ignore the plight of poorer nations battling the coronavirus or the disease will not be brought under control, global development experts have said.

Journalists Tell Slovakia’s PM-elect: ‘Thanks, but No Thanks’

Plans announced by Slovakia’s prime minister-elect to fund investigative journalists to act as corruption watchdogs on government and state bodies have been dismissed as “a road to hell” by local journalists.

Slovak Journalist’s Trial a Fundamental Moment to Prove if Country can Punish Crimes Designed to Silence Journalists

As four people appear in court in Slovakia over the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, both 27, the trial is being seen by many as a historic moment for not just press freedom in the country but public faith in its justice system.

Net Closes on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Killers, Sending a Powerful Signal of No Impunity for Corruption

Press freedom campaigners and journalists in Malta are hoping they could soon see justice for murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia – and that a powerful message will be sent across Europe that a free press can deny corrupt officials the power to act with impunity.

Net Food Importer Turkey Grapples with Challenges of Food Self-sufficiency

Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.

Q&A: How Europe has Moved Away from Being a Sanctuary for Journalists

Rising populism, anti-media rhetoric from politicians, cyber-harassment of journalists and physical attacks are among the reasons why press freedom in Europe is on the decline, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


Q&A: A New Model for Independent Journalism in Slovakia

In 2014, worried about editorial independence after local businessmen bought a substantial stake in the major Slovak daily newspaper they worked at, a small group of journalists left in protest and set up their own paper run solely by the journalists themselves to ensure impartiality.

Never Been a Worse Time to be a Journalist

“I’ve never known a time when it was as bad as it is now,” says Beata Balogova, the Vice-Chair of the International Press Institute (IPI) and Editor in Chief of the Slovak publication Sme. “In terms of what’s going on with journalists, we’re in a very unique period,” she adds.

‘Antimicrobial Resistance Knows No Boundaries’

European Union officials and global health bodies have called for help for poorer countries as growing resistance to antibiotics threatens to become a ‘global health tragedy’ and jeopardises Sustainable Development Goals in some parts of the world.

Global Warming Threatens Europe’s Public Health

Climate change and health experts are warning of the growing threat to public health in Europe from global warming as rising temperatures help potentially lethal diseases spread easily across the continent.

Bamboo, A Sustainability Powerhouse

A landmark conference bringing more than 1,200 people from across the world together to promote and explain the importance of bamboo and rattan to global sustainable development and tackling climate change has ended with a raft of agreements and project launches.

Ukraine Puts Water Strategy High on Development Agenda

A campaign to raise awareness of water security in Ukraine could be an inspiration around the world, activists behind it say, after it forced a change in the country’s approach to its water resources.

From Fake News to a Fake Death

When news broke on May 29th that journalist Arkady Babchenko had been murdered in Ukraine, serious questions about the safety of journalists in the country were raised.

Media Watchdogs Fear a Chill in Slovakia

International media watchdogs, EU politicians, journalists and publishers have condemned Slovak police investigating the murder of a local journalist after one of his colleagues claimed she was interrogated for eight hours before being forced to hand over her telephone – potentially putting sources at risk.

Getting Away with Murder in Slovakia

Sitting in a cafe in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, Zuzana Petkova admits that like many other investigative journalists in the country today, she is scared.

Can Drought Be Prevented? Slovakia Aims to Try

A landmark programme to combat drought set to be implemented in the small Central European country of Slovakia could be an inspiration for other states as extreme weather events become more frequent, the environmental action group behind the plan has said.