A “panel of shame”, with the officials and dignitaries who through their actions undermined the freedom of press last year, has been exposed today in front of the headquarters of the Parliament.
Traditionally, the action is organized by the Independent Journalism Center. The representatives of the civic society say that they manifested in this way the protest against the attempts of limitation of freedom of expression and towards the actions undertaken by certain public officials and state dignitaries who restricted the activity of journalists from the Republic of Moldova in the period May 2015 – May 2016.
“We have come with this action hoping that we will make the politicians be more responsible. It is about first of all the limited access to information. There were many cases of limitation of journalists’ access to public meetings. It is about also the changing of the legislative framework. There were attempts of amendment of some laws that, once with their adoption, will obstruct the press activity.
Especially, it is about the online press and the censorship on internet. And least but not last it is about the declarations of some politicians who, in our opinion, come in contradiction with the principles of some democratic societies. You cannot declare at the same time that you plead for European integration and at the same time tell that the press from the RM is too free to criticize and some media sources should be closed”, mentioned the Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center, Nadine Gogu.
“This year we had more cases of limitation of freedom in press. We remind the case in which the journalists were closed at the headquarters of a party, etc”, added the IJC Director, referring to the incident from the PD headquarters. Then, the Democratic representatives invited the press to the Political Bureau of the party that had to announce the PD candidate for the function of premier. But, later, after one hour, they refused to make declarations, and the journalists were kept closed in the PD headquarters without being given any explanations.
- The actions from today of the IJC is part of a range of events dedicated to the World Press Freedom Day, 2016. On Thursday, starting with 9:00 AM, all the journalists were invited to an ample March of Press Solidarity. “Through this action, we want to demonstrate how united are those who represent journalism, although they activate in different offices, but also remind the government that press is not the politicians’ target”, mentioned the IJC representatives.
- The march will start from the “Casa Presei” (22, Puşkin street) in front of the Government, then to the final destination – the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.
Mihai Ghimpu — Deprived of microphone the Jurnal TV reporter, Adrian Prodan. It happened on June, 7, 2015, at a protest, while the politician was repeatedly asked about a supposed meeting with Vladimir Plahotniuc. He declared, on February, 12, 2016, at a talk show, that the television post Jurnal TV must be closed. The journalist: “Do you think that the Jurnal has to be closed?”/ M. Ghimpu: “If it continues the same policy, yes”. On March, 22, 2016 mentioned that it is not correct that “the press from Moldova is so free, so it defames a man and then you can nothing demonstrate”.
Ilan Shor — On July, 15, 2015, a film crew of the Jurnal TV post was harassed in the Orhei Town Hall, while the journalists tried to discuss with several officials, after they were told that Ilan Shor is busy. A person, that did not want to present itself, interdicted the journalists to film and threatened them that, if he appears on TV, they will have problems.
Later, he pushed the camera operator, kicking the camera and called the guard from Town Hall to take them out. Two similar cases took place on December, 10 and 29, 2015, when the agent of a private security firm did not permit the reporter of the Radio Orhei to enter the meeting hall of the Orhei Town Hall, where was going to take place the meeting of the Town Council.
Pavel Filip, Prime Minister, member of the Democratic Party; Andrian Candu, the President of the Parliament, member of the PD; Marian Lupu, PD President; Vlad Plahotniuc, PD First Vice President – refused repeatedly to participate at the talk shows “Politica” and “Interpol” from the TV7 and “În PROfunzime” from the PRO TV Chişinău.
About this announced not once the hosts Natalia Morari and Lorena Bogza, and the last one also presented the official requests on the names of governors, who did not use their invitations. As well, some leaders of the PD refuse to offer information and comments for the Jurnal TV post. Because of this, the public is deprived of balanced information, of diverse opinions that would help them understand better what is happening in society.
Vlad Filat, Liberal Democratic Party leader – a representative of the bodyguard of the deputy Vlad Filat threatened, on July, 30, 2015, the photojournalist Constantin Grigoriţă while he was taking pictures in the Parliament headquarters.
“He told me that he will break my fingers if I direct the objective to Vlad Filat once again, because I was allegedly violating his intimacy and was allegedly disturbing him from work”. According to Grigoriţă, the incident allegedly produced while the journalists were permitted to enter the meeting hall for protocol shootings.
Marian Lupu – An employee of the PD blocked some journalists in the party headquarters. It happened on January, 13, 2016, while the film crews were expecting the PD leaders to make declarations, after the Political Bureau. The door was blocked by a security guard, and the mass-media representatives succeeded to come out just after the politicians left the party headquarters. Later, Marian Lupu, as well as Andrian Candu declared that the security guard acted independently, without being given indications.
Vladimir Ţurcan, Eduard Smirnov, Grigore Novac, Adrian Lebedinschi, deputies of the Party of Socialists – are the authors of the draft law no. 39, on the amendment and completion of the Broadcasting Code, that was approved in a hurry, in two readings, at the meeting of the Parliament from February, 26, 2016, without consulting in advance with the civic society. Although the authors proposed the reduction of the number of licenses which an owner can hold, from 5 to 2, the media experts drew the attention repeatedly that this draft law is unsubstantial, because it does not take into account realities, including the transfer to digital television.
Renato Usatîi, Bălţi Mayor – on March, 22, 2016, the Bălţi Mayor declared that will not permit the access of the Publika TV to the meetings of the Bălţi Municipal Council. While the reporter responded that the meetings are public, Usatîi replied: “The porno television channels will never step in here”.
Minister of Internal Affairs – on March, 30, 2016, the institution presented a draft law on the amendment and completion of some legislative acts. Its authors claim that they want to combat child pornography, but the civic society and the media institutions affirm that it would be about an attempt on the fundamental right of freedom of expression and privacy.
The media experts and the journalists affirm that certain provisions could permit “reading of e-mails, but also of other text messages” and that, through the amendment of art. 247.1 from the Contravention Code of the Republic of Moldova, the internet operators would be obliged to filter and archive the traffic which flows through their own network, but also block the IPs of the servers, on which are stored different websites.