Media NGOs condemn the illegal actions of ranger Dorin Merzancu, directed against journalists

The non-governmental media organizations condemn the actions of intimidation and threatening of a journalist from Ziarul de Garda (ZdG), carried out by ranger Dorin Merzancu, an employee of the Bujor Forest District.

While on a fact-finding mission for a journalistic investigation into illegal deforestation, the journalist Victor Moşneag became the target of intimidation and threats by the employee of the Bujor Forest District. More specifically, Dorin Merzancu’s inadequate behavior was manifested by his attempt to hit the journalist with the car he was driving, addressing offensive words to the reporter’s interviewee. Later on, the ranger followed the ZdG team for a few kilometers, threatening them with reprisal: ‘Why are you filming? Do you want one day to get hit with a crowbar in the head?’

The signatory organizations express their indignation in relation to this and point out that the defiant actions of the ranger Dorin Merzancu contravene not only the generally accepted rules of conduct in a democratic society but also the law in force.

We inform the employee of the Bujor Forest District that his actions 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.

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.

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 organizations vehemently condemn the abusive and illegal actions of ranger Dorin Merzancu against the journalists and point out that such severe violations shall not be tolerated.

We demand that Dorin Merzancu make a public apology to the journalist Victor Mosneag and use decent language and behavior and that he refrain in the future from behaving in any way that is intolerant in relation to journalists and mass-media institutions.

We ask the Director of the State Forestry Enterprise ‘Hincesti-Silva’, Gheorghe Apostolachi, as well as the head of the Bujor Forest District, Ion Candu, to take note of the inappropriate behavior of the ranger and take penalizing action against him.

At the same time, 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 Dorin Merzancu accountable.

Independent Journalism Center

Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association

Media Guard Association

Association of Electronic Press

Association of Independent Press

‘Access-info’ Center

Center for Investigative Journalism

Press Freedom Committee

RISE Moldova


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