Free expression and the right to information is guaranteed by law in Slovakia. The Internet is free to access and is unrestricted. Slovakia is ranked 12th out of 180 countries by the World Press Freedom Index, reflecting the presence of a vibrant media. At times, politicians attempt to curtail the media’s independence through legal means and arguing for their right to privacy to be upheld. Defamation attracts a sentence of up to eight years imprisonment ─ the harshest punishment for defamation in the European Union. In May 2015, the entire cabinet said it would not respond to questions from the newspaper Denník N after it published cartoons that portrayed the President as a thief. The newspaper was also banned from government press conferences.
Civic Space Developments