On 9 September 2020, SPGS employees, working in the security service of the President of the Republic of Moldova, blocked the access of journalists to the exit of the Central Electoral Commission, to prevent them from putting questions to Igor Dodon, who was there to register in the presidential race.
We remind the protection officers that according to Article 4 of the Law on State Protection and Guard Service, SPGS must conform to the principle of legality and of observance of human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.
According to the provisions of the Law on Freedom of Expression, nobody can prohibit or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest, unless prescribed so by the law. At the same time, according to Article 180 of the Criminal Code, the intentional obstruction of the activity of the media or of journalists can be subject to criminal liability.
We emphasize that the SPGS is a governmental body funded from public money and it must protect government officials from physical dangers, not from journalists’ questions.
It is with regret and concern that we also emphasize that this was not the first time when the employees of the State Protection and Guard Service abused their duties in relation to media representatives and disregarded the principle of freedom of the press.
We call on the SPGS to cease such vicious and illegal practices and to instruct its officers to refrain from abusive behaviors against journalists.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Press Freedom Committee