October 19, 2006


Vienna, 19/10/2006


Vladimir Voronin
President of the Republic of Moldova

Vasile Tarlev
Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova

Vitalie Parlog
Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova

Chisinau, Moldova

Your Excellencies,

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 alarmed at the recent pressures on journalists from a Chisinau-based weekly.

According to information before SEEMO, after publishing a series of articles related to crimes and corruption in the legal system of the Republic of Moldova, journalists working for the Chisinau-based weekly newspaper Ziarul de Garda have faced ongoing pressure from the representatives of different state institutions as well as other unidentified persons.

SEEMO has also been informed that these persons have attempted to interfere in the editorial policy of the weekly by entering into doubtful agreements or by attempting to bribe its reporters.

SEEMO condemns these attempts to influence the paper’s reporting and to intimidate journalists. With this in mind, we would ask Your Excellencies to use your influence on Moldovan officials and institutions to encourage them to investigate these accusations and to halt these illegal practices.

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