Send to friend | Print

OSCE media freedom representative calls on Moldovan authorities to ensure journalists

OSCE media freedom representative calls on Moldovan authorities to ensure journalists

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, urged the Moldovan authorities today to secure free access for international media and allow unhindered reporting in the country.

He also called on journalists to observe the professional rules of detachment when covering events such as the demonstrations that followed last week's parliamentary elections.

"Whatever the circumstances, restrictions on media and free reporting infringe on several OSCE principles in the media sphere," Haraszti wrote in a letter sent to Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan.

In the letter, Haraszti listed the numerous complaints from foreign and Moldovan journalists about mishandling by border services and law enforcement forces, as well as complaints involving assault and brief detention, and restrictions on access to internet services, in particular to social networking websites. These included:

  • Romanian and other foreign journalists being prevented from entering Moldova on 7 and 8 April;
  • The assault and detention of Romanian and Moldovan journalists reporting on the scene of clashes between the demonstrators and law enforcement on 8-10 April;
  • Five journalists had to leave the country despite holding valid press accreditation after the Moldovan authorities changed the visa regime on 9 April;
  • Reported blocking of some websites on 7 April and in the morning of 8 April. Access to sites such as Facebook remains restricted.

"In the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the participating States pledged to improve the conditions under which journalists from one participating State exercise their profession in another participating State, and provide journalists with visas," Haraszti said.

Haraszti drew the Minister's attention to his Office's recommendations on accrediting journalists and on handling the media during political demonstrations, stressing that journalists covering unauthorized or anti-governmental demonstrations should be supported by law enforcement.

"Our recommendations also call on the media workers covering the events in Moldova to visibly indicate their professional status while on duty, report objectively without inflaming the situation and refrain from becoming personally involved," he said.

"I hope that thorough and swift investigations into the alleged violations will be launched, and those accountable will be held responsible, if journalists were targeted with the aim of obstructing their reporting. That would send a strong signal that governmental over-reaction will not be tolerated in the future," Haraszti added.


Comments (0)