September 20, 2006


MOLDOVA, 20/09/2006

Vladimir Voronin

President of the Republic of Moldova

Chisinau, Moldova

Your Excellency,

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), is deeply concerned about the recent arrest of the sales director at PRO TV Chisinau.

According to information before SEEMO, Ghenadie Braghis, sales director at PRO TV Chisinau, was arrested on 7 September on suspicion of demanding a bribe of US$ 1,000 from a private Moldovan transport company. The bribe was allegedly in exchange for a prime time commercial on PRO TV Chisinau. During his detention, Braghis was denied access to legal counsel.

SEEMO condemns this treatment of an innocent individual who has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing. There is also considerable concern that Braghis’ arrest may be related to the critical reporting of the TV station. With this in mind, we would ask Your Excellency to use your influence on Moldovan officials and institutions to encourage them to respect the legal procedures in police investigations.

SEEMO would also like to remind Your Excellency that an open media environment allowing for the free flow of information, as well as the existence of critical media, is a fundamental principle of any democratic society.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

SEEMO Secretary General