On 3 May, on the World Press Freedom Day, NordNews reporter, Nicoleta Pînzaru, was assaulted by an employee of Riscani Court. The incident took place while journalists were working on a story about the protest started by several people who are not satisfied with the work of the court. When the NordNews reporter was trying to get a comment from court officials, a court employee violently blocked her access to the building, jamming the journalist’s finger as she closed the door.
The signatory organisations express their indignation in relation to this and point out that the actions of Riscani Court employee contravene not only the generally accepted rules of conduct in a democratic society, but also the law in force.
We highlight that the actions of the court employee constitute a violation of the right to bodily integrity of the person, as well as an interference with the special rights guaranteed to journalists.
It should be noted that, pursuant to Article 4(1) of the Law on Freedom of Expression, the state guarantees the freedom of expression of the media and no one can prohibit or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest except under the law. Moreover, para. (5) of the same article provides that the intentional unlawful obstruction of the activity of the media entails criminal liability.
We also emphasize that ‘bodily injury’ and ‘accosting an individual in an offensive way in a public place or other similar actions that violate moral norms or that disturb public order or the tranquility of an individual’ are offences punishable by law.
The signatory organisations condemn the abusive and illegal actions of Riscani Court representative against the journalists and point out that such severe violations shall not be tolerated.
We demand that court employees use decent language and behaviour, and that he refrain in the future from behaving in any way that is intolerant in relation to journalists and mass-media institutions.
We would also like to call on the President of Drochia Court, Riscani Office, Ion Rabii, to record this inappropriate behaviour of the court employee and take penalising action against her.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent Press