Media non-governmental organizations condemn strongly the ongoing abusive and illegal practices used by Tiraspol authorities against journalists. They urge the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova to make sure that the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of its citizens are observed.
On 21 September, photojournalist Elena Covalenco was informed of a ban on her entry into the Transnistrian region. The unconstitutional authorities on the left bank of the Nistru river declared Elena Covalenco “undesirable” for a period of three years. This action came in response to her reporting from Tiraspol back in July, where she documented a news story.
We’d like to make the legitimate authorities of the Republic of Moldova aware of the severe interference with human rights and freedoms safeguarded at national and international level. These violations not only undermine individual freedoms and personal safety but also encroach upon the special rights guaranteed to journalists.
It is essential to recall that Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova guarantees the inviolability of individual freedom and personal safety. Furthermore, according to Article 4(1) of the Law on Freedom of Expression, the State shall ensure the freedom of expression of the media. Nobody can prohibit or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest, unless prescribed so by the law. Moreover, para. (5) of the same article provides that the intentional unlawful obstruction of the activity of the media entails criminal liability.
The signatory organizations are strongly condemning the abusive and illegal actions of the Tiraspol breakaway authorities employees against journalists and highlight that such severe violations shall not be tolerated.
We call upon the legitimate authorities of the Republic of Moldova to take note of these defiant practices and take the necessary measures in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the media, as guaranteed by law.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Association of Electronic Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee
Media Guard Association
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association