We remind that on 20 April 2020, following the call made by the journalists’ crisis cell, the Ministry's press service announced that the MHLSP would hold online press conferences with direct answers to journalists' questions in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the MHLSP has stopped carrying out such activities since back in September 2020, the Journalists’ Crisis Cell launched a public call, beseeching authorities to resume holding live online press conferences with journalists’ participation.
In its official reply the MHLSP announced that it would resume press conferences in ‘an updated format’ ‘in the near future’.
Nevertheless, more than two months later, the MHLSP continues limiting journalists’ possibilities to inform citizens about matters of major interest for the society.
Given the severe impact of the pandemic crisis on the population of the Republic of Moldova, the MHLSP, as a central specialised body of the public administration, which ensures the implementation of the state policy in the health sector, should give high priority to the correct, complete and prompt information of the citizens, including by organising and conducting press conferences.
Realizing the importance of the journalists’ mission in informing the citizens about problems of public interest, through the accurate and impartial presentation of the facts, we express the hope that the information provided in these press conferences will serve the citizens’ interest and will help minimize the impact of the crisis generated by Covid-19, and support the MHLSP in its efforts to act transparently and to observe the right of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova to information.
According to Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and of the Law on Access to Information, the Independent Journalism Center, on behalf of a number of media outlets and journalists, urges Tatiana Zatic, Secretary of State at the MHLSP, the acting Minister of Health, Labour and Social Protection, to resume holding weekly online press conferences, with the participation of media representatives.
In the same train of thoughts, some journalists have signalled that the MHLSP is disregarding their right to access information of public interest. In this context, we call on the authorities to respond to the requests of access to information by the deadlines set out in the law in force and to relinquish such practices.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee