The non-governmental media organisations condemn the actions of intimidation and threatening of a journalist working for Nokta, carried out by two participants to a protest which took place in Vulcănești town on 14 August.
During the live broadcasting of the event, Zahar Pavlioglo – Nokta reporter – was assaulted and insulted by two participants to the protest. To be precise, the inappropriate behaviour took the form of threats and curses towards the journalist: ‘Я тебя найду, * нецензурное слово*, я тебя побрею…’ (translated from Russian – ‘I will find you, *censored*, and I will give you a shave’). One of the protesters, Dmitrii Topal, used his force and pulled the reporter’s hair.
The signatory organisations condemn such a contemptuous behaviour and emphasise the actions of the two protesters constitute a violation of the right to bodily integrity of the person, of his individual freedom and safety, as well as an interference with the special rights guaranteed to journalists.
We would like to mention that, in line with the Law on Freedom of Expression, the state shall guarantee the freedom of expression for the media and the deliberate obstruction of mass media work shall lead to criminal liability. Also, note that the threat to cause bodily injuries or harm someone’s health, as well as insulting a person in public places are deemed by law as crimes.
The signatory organisations vehemently condemn the abusive and illegal actions of the perpetrators against the Nokta journalist and point out that such violations shall not be tolerated.
We ask 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 in order to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Independent Journalism Center
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Media Guard Association
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee