Statement by the Freedom Moldova Human Rights Foundation on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day
On World Press Freedom Day the Freedom Moldova Foundation sincerely congratulates all honest, professional media employees in Moldova, both the broadcasting and electronic media, and the representatives of the traditional print media.

Freedom Moldova believes it worth remarking difficult conditions and numerous obstacles the journalists have to face daily.
In recent years such obstacles became, first of all, undisguised monopolization of the media market and censorship turned out to be a consequence of monopolization.

The main objective of the press – to communicate significant, accurate information to people – is blocked because the largest TV channels in the country belong to the only one person, Vlad Plahotniuc, forming a holding with the uniform editorial policy, controlled by the founder. This policy disregards pluralism of opinions, as a rule, hardly involves unbiased coverage of the situation, and breaks laws and journalistic ethics, for the only purpose – to distract society from real problems, from control of the authorities.

The above-stated holding boosts even more its income and opportunities due to the monopolized market of advertising and compulsory distribution of advertising between TV channels and other media of the country for its own benefit. In such conditions the main objective of the press becomes almost impracticable in our country.

Additional difficulty is unwillingness of the authorities to cooperate with the media, refusal in access to information at the level of all branches of the power. The legislature forbids access to the parliament chamber, the judiciary withholds information on day and time of court sessions, on the court judgments (moreover, the higher profile of the case, the more carefully it is guarded from the press, up to court sessions in camera). Executive power, despite the fact that every ministry, department and law-enforcement agency has established the position of “press officer”, ignores questions and addresses of journalists, preferring laconic, empty answers and press releases. This notwithstanding, speculations with “the right to protection of personal data” have reached the inconceivable sizes – while all the law-enforcement agencies freely obtain any personal data of citizens, using them in the most different purposes, the media is persistently regarded as the main enemy of this right.

In spite of the fact that many international and local organizations report year after year that “there are no improvements” or even “degradation” of indicators in the field of media freedom, the authorities reluctantly undertake measures to improve the situation, while the competent public authorities such as courts of law, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council, and others repeatedly showed that they are not on the journalists’ side in their hard business.
Moreover, for the attempts to honestly do their work the journalists are not only judicially penalized, but also are subjected to persecution, surveillance, intimidation, as it was reported about by our Foundation as well.

Freedom Moldova emphasizes that it will continue further monitoring the state of media freedom in the Republic of Moldova, and reacting to any attempts of intimidation, prosecution or limitation of the rights of journalists.

May 3, 2017

Published at 4-05-2017, 09:49