The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns the assault on Victor Ciobanu, a journalist for Jurnalul TV in Moldova.
According to information received by SEEMO, on 28 July 2010, Ciobanu was reporting on a copyright court case in front of the Chisinau Court of Appeals when a person working for the Moldovan Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) approached him, destroyed his camera and removed the memory card.
Later that day at the police station, the memory card was returned to Ciobanu but it appeared that all images were removed.
SEEMO fully supports the statement of the Moldovan media NGO’s who are calling on authorities to reject such attitudes by their employees towards the media and journalists in particular, and who are urging for an investigation concerning the Ciobanu matter.
“It is important for journalists to be able to work in an open environment, and the security staff of a public body, especially one combating economic crimes and corruption, should be setting a good example instead of interfering with that right,” said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.
“SEEMO strongly believes that media have an important duty to inform the public about activities in their local communities. Persons working as public officials should be especially open and cooperative in communicating with journalists,” Vujovic added.
“Those with legitimate complaints against the media can pursue these complaints through a range of different mechanisms. However, attacking journalists is unacceptable.”