Declaration of media NGOs from Moldova on the situation of the press, violations of the right to access to information and attacks on journalists

Media NGOs express concern about the degradation in the last few days of the media situation in Moldova and violation of the right to access to information of public interest, and protest against cases of journalists harassment.
IJC, 9 April 2009, 19:08

Thus, in the evening of Wednesday, April 8, several reporters from the investigative newspaper "Ziarul de Garda" were harassed by police officers who refused to legitimate themselves. Journalists have been twisted arms, being threatened that their cameras will be destroyed. On the same day, Oleg Brega, the TV on the Internet cameraman Jurnal TV, while exerting his profession, was beaten by several people in plain clothes who seized two video cameras. The newspaper "Ziarul de Garda" and Jurnal TV have evidences of the incidents that could help in identifying perpetrators and state that they are willing to make them available to law enforcement bodies.

Moreover, on April 9, famous portal and social network became inaccessible to users in Moldova. Also on April 8, information portal administrators have found that Unimed server was attacked several times. It is not the first time in the last three days when certain online resources were inaccessible in Moldova. At least two broadcasters have stopped broadcasting TV station Realitatea TV and TVR 1 on Moldovan territory. TV disappeared from the list of tv channels Tuesday night, at around 21.00. Broadcasters cite technical reasons of this problem; however their promises to restore TV channels retransmission have not been completed yet. Thus, consumers are deprived of important international sources of information.

In these circumstances, the signatory organizations protest vehemently against the attacks on journalists on duty by the representatives of law bodies and demand an immediate end to these abusive and illegal practices, to investigate these cases and to bring to account those responsible for abuses against journalists.

Also, underlying the importance of observing the constitutional right to access to information of citizens through media, Internet and other available means, the signatory organizations call on the authorities of Moldova to ensure media freedom under the obligations incumbent to a member of the Council of Europe and to facilitate access to information.

Independent Journalism Center

Association of Independent Press

Investigative Journalism Center

Young Journalist Center of Moldova

Union of Journalists of Moldova

Broadcast Media Association