President of the Republic of Moldova
The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe, and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), wishes to express its concern over recent developments at Teleradio Moldova (TRM).
According to information before SEEMO, on 27 July 2004, a group of employees at TRM launched a protest following growing discontent with the Selection Committee's procedure for selecting staff at the broadcaster. On the evening of the same day, the evening broadcasts of the 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. news were banned by the State Company's administration. In reaction to the protest, 19 TRM employees were also suspended from their duties. Moreover, police force was used in order to put down the peaceful protests.
SEEMO shares the concerns of Moldovan journalists that these actions were just a further step in the government's attempt to seize control of the mass media in Moldova, after temporarily suspending the activity of several independent media outlets in Chisinau and re-establishing the state newspapers in the regions.
SEEMO condemns the recent measures taken against the TRM employees and the use of police force. We urge the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to do everything in their power to ensure transparent and non-discriminatory staff selection procedures at the broadcaster, and to fully respect the provisions of the 2002 Law on the National Public Broadcaster, which would ensure the transformation of TRM into a true public service broadcaster.
We thank you for your attention.
SEEMO Secretary General