Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic on Friday signed into law a controversial bill that is seen by publishers and human rights groups as a threat to press freedom, reported the dpa.
Publishers, journalists and human rights groups have complained that the law will grant readers and institutions expansive rights to respond to published articles when it comes into force in June.
The bill, which has been criticized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was also going to introduce penalties for stories approving of wars or drugs, but the government dropped that provision.
The right-wing opposition failed to force Prime Minister Robert Fico to introduce further changes by boycotting ratification of the European Union's reform treaty, aimed at overhauling enlarged bloc's institutions.
Despite the boycott coalition lawmakers passed the law in early April. The Ethnic Hungarian party subsequently broke ranks with the opposition and helped Fico ratify the Lisbon Treaty in parliament.
The bill's critics have said they plan to contest it in courts.