The non-governmental media organizations condemn the aggressive behavior of the President of the Party of Regions of Moldova, Alexandr Kalinin, in relation to the journalist Lorena Bogza.
On 28 June 2021, the inadequate reaction of the electoral candidate was witnessed in the PRO TV election debate studio. More specifically, in response to the fact that the debate’s moderator did not ask her questions in Russian, Alexandr Kalinin launched insults and insulting remarks at the journalist and the invited candidates, throwing a bottle of water at the TV studio’s display. The electoral contender’s microphone was turned off several times due to his failure to comply with the debate’s rules.
The signatory organizations deem this inappropriate behavior to be inadmissible, especially for a candidate for the position of Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.
We remind all electoral contenders that the Regulation on the coverage of election campaigns stipulates that the moderators of election debate shows have the obligation to intervene, including by closing the microphone if the guests violate the provisions of the legislation in force or do not comply with the moderator’s requests.
It bears mentioning that the state safeguards the honor, dignity, and professional reputation of journalists and penalizes any form of intimidation of journalists. At the same time, we remind that damaging the media institutions’ assets is punishable by law.
We demand that the President of the Party of Regions of Moldova, Alexandr Kalinin, make a public apology to the moderator Lorena Bogza and use decent language and behavior.
We call on all politicians to adopt appropriate conduct in relation to journalists and to refrain from manifesting any form of intolerance in relation to journalists and media institutions.
Note that anyone who disagrees with a journalist’s working methods or materials can contact the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova, which is to examine thereafter the complaint and assess the journalist’s professional behavior and/or work quality.
Independent Journalism Center
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee