) More than 60,000 people in different cities of Slovakia took part in protests against the plans of the government of Robert Fico to carry out a large-scale reform of criminal legislation, which implies mitigation of punishment for some crimes and dissolution of the special prosecutor’s office, Slovak publication SME reported.
According to the report, 30,000 people in Bratislava were joined by thousands of opponents of government intervention in criminal policy in 29 cities across Slovakia.
The rallies began in early December 2023 after Fico announced reforms, which include reducing sentences for financial crimes and abolishing the special prosecutor’s office that handles crimes such as corruption, abuse of power, terrorism and extremism.
The opposition claimed the government wanted to stop investigations into politically sensitive cases by shutting the office, while Fico said the unit repeatedly violated human rights in its investigations. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova criticized the reforms and said she would block them.
In January, the European Parliament passed a resolution questioning Slovakia’s criminal code revision, amid concerns over the rule of law in the country and various “worrying reform proposals.”