MOLDOVA: Decision of authorities to stop free movement of journalists - Moldova

MOLDOVA, MOLDOVA, 10/04/2009, 11:55

The Vienna based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), affiliate of the International Press Institute, is disappointed to learn that on 7 April 2009, a group of journalists from Jurnalul Naþional, Evenimentul Zilei, Ziua, Realitatea TV, Associated Press, EPA, France Press, Intact Images, NewsIn, Mediafax and. Reuters, who were travelling from Romania to report from Chisinau, were stopped by the Moldovan authorities at the borders and could not enter Moldova.

Moldavian officials requested different documents from the journalists, like invitations, special healthcare insurances, and accreditations from the Moldovan government. Some of the journalists were not given any explanation as to why they could not enter Moldova.

SEEMO also supports the local journalists associations in Moldova and Romania, like the Independent Journalism Center, the Association of Independent Press, the Investigative Journalism Center, the Acces-info Center, the Young Journalist Center of Moldova, the Union of Journalists of Moldova, Broadcast Media Association and the Federation of Romanian Journalists (MediaSind), who were protesting against the steps against press freedom by the authorities in Chisinau.

According to the SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic, this is a clear restriction of the free movement of journalists.

I call on the Moldovan authorities to respect the right to the free movement of individuals, journalists and freedom of expression and reporting. Asking for an accreditation or other documents from journalists on the border was against rules, knowing, that foreign journalists need accreditation only if they wish to be accredited as permanent correspondents in Moldova or to have access to official state institutions and representatives, Vujovic added. Vujovic finally said: As I know, EU citizens need only their passport to enter Moldova, and I am asking the authorities in Moldova for a fast investigation of this cases of restriction of press freedom.

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