Slovakia: Human Rights United States Department of State Author
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Description

The Slovak Republic is a multiparty parliamentary democracy led by a prime minister and a 150-member parliament (Narodna Rada). Prime Minister Robert Fico heads the Smer-SD (Direction-Social Democracy) party, which secured a majority of seats in the 150-member National Council in the March 2012 early parliamentary elections. President Ivan Gasparovic, the head of state, was re-elected for a five-year term in 2009. Authorities maintained effective control over security forces. Security forces remained committed to curbing human rights abuses. Notable human rights problems during the year included abuse of power by judicial figures, a continued lack of checks and balances within the judicial system, low public trust in the judiciary, and continued societal discrimination and violence against Roma. Other human rights problems included prison overcrowding and targeting of the press for civil defamation suits by members of the political and judicial elite. The government investigated reports of abuses by members of the security forces and other government institutions, though some question the thoroughness of these investigations. Some officials engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

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