Media NGOs find media functioning climate worsens in Moldova

They have signed a joint statement reading that the freedom of media is in danger and ask the Greceanai Government and the Communists Party to stop restricting the constitutional right to information.
Info-Prim Neo, 16 July 2009, 17:37

2009-07-16/16:04/ Chisinau (IPN) The statement is signed by the Independent Press Association, the Independent Journalism Center, the Young Journalist Center, the Acces-info Center, the Investigative Journalism Center, the Journalists Union and the Electronic Press Association.

“These weeks, several cases of intimidating journalists took place at rallies of prime minister Zinaida Greceanai, a candidate on the PCRM's list for parliament, who benefits from body guard, including at the events not related to her exerting her job as a state dignitary,” reads the statement.

On July 9, the premier's bodyguards banned the access of a crew of journalists from Glodeni to a rally of the district functionaries with Zinaida Greceanai. A female journalist was thrust by the bodyguards threatening her they would “take out their guns,” while the cameraman was not allowed to film, media NGOs inform.

On July 12, two journalists were forced to leave the Culture Palace in Donduseni by bodyguards and local police. Premier Greceanai was to have an electoral rally in that venue.

The statement reads the Moldovan authorities have resumed the illegal and anti-democratic practices of banning some journalists to enter Moldova, on invented reasons. “The special correspondent of the Romanian agency Agerpress, who was to cover the elections, was forbidden the access to Moldova, on reason he did not have a certificate proving he had no AIDS, although the Moldovan law does not require such a certificate,” the statement reads.

In connection to these situations of restricting the journalists' rights, the signatory NGOs demand the Government and the Communists Party to stop restricting the constitutional right to information and the journalists' right to do their job.

They also insist that the Interior Ministry and the State Guard Division should display legal and honorable conduct, should exclude the Soviet militsia's practice of intimidating the undesirable people, especially the journalists on duty.

The declaration addresses the Border Guards and Customs Services demanding them to eliminate the abuses and illegal actions of their subalterns in relation with the journalists coming to Moldova, and ask to start a work probe on the case of Agerpress journalist.

The copy of this statement will also be sent to embassies and foreign missions in Moldova, to European and international organizations, to electoral observers and the OSCE special representative for media freedom.