Media NGOs concerned about Vardanean's conviction in Tiraspol

Media nongovernmental organisations signal with deep concern the deterioration of the press freedom, safe conditions for journalists and human rights in Transnistria, in relation with journalist Ernest Vardanean's conviction by the court.
IJC, 23 December 2010, 11:59

on December 16 the supreme court of self proclaimed transnitrian republic sentenced Vardanean to 15 years in prison for treason based on article 271 of transnistrian criminal code. The journalist will execute the sentence in a high security criminal prison. Transnistrian authorities have stated that Vardanean's conviction was not reasoned by his journalistic activity, but strictly by his collaboration with Moldovan secret services. Vardanean was arrested on April 7, 2010 and his case was judged in secret by the Transnistrian courts.

Signatory NGOs reprove the conditions in which Vardanean was detained and judged. During his detention he was impeded to communicate with his family and was constrained to make a self denunciation. Vardanean was trailed in secret and the "Promo-lex" lawyers were not allowed to participate in. We herby state that at least in these conditions the journalist's conviction trial violated the guarantees of a fair trial as such enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.

We call on the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to continue the negotiations with Transnistrian authorities for the release of Vardanean and to continue supporting his family. We also urge the authorities to inform the civil society on the progress made in this respect.

Signatory NGOs: Independent Journalism Center, Independent Press Association, "Access-info" Center, Center for Investigative Journalism, Electronic Media Association, Committee for Press Freedom