Media NGOs condemn the actions of the issuer of the online threat against Nokta journalist Mihail Sirkeli, as well as the attempts of intimidation by members of a pro-Russian nationalist organisation from the village of Chirsova.
After the journalist of Nokta, a Comrat-based portal, made a post about the bombings in Ukraine on the day the European Parliament declared the Russian Federation a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’, a social media user identified with the profile name of George Constantinov threatened Mikhail Sirkeli that a brick could ‘accidentally’ fall on his head.
On 26 November, the members of the pro-Russian organisation from Chirsova, the ‘Brotherhood of the Cross’, demanded that journalist Mikhail Sirkeli be anathematised and excommunicated from the church for his ‘stance against the Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox Russia and Orthodox values.
The signatory organisations condemn these unacceptable practices, stressing the increased danger of their entrenchment and perpetuation, particularly online. We state that under the Law on Freedom of Expression, the state shall guarantee freedom of expression of the media and the intentional unlawful obstruction of the media activity entails criminal liability. At the same time, we stress that the threat of murder or serious injury to bodily integrity or health constitutes an act criminalized by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova.
The signatory organisations vehemently condemn the perpetrators’ illegal actions against media representatives and point out that such violations cannot be tolerated.
We urge the law enforcement bodies of the Republic of Moldova, by virtue of their legal duties, to take note of the deeds committed and to initiate the procedures provided for by law to hold the perpetrator of the threats accountable.
Independent Journalism Center
Media Guard Association
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent Press
Center for Investigative Journalism