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Media NGOs condemn the unseemly behavior of MP Iurie Muntean

21 November 2013
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Media NGOs firmly condemn the improper behavior of Communist Party Member of Parliament Iurie Muntean in his relations with the press and ask that he apologize to the journalist he intimidated.

During the Parliamentary session on Thursday 21 November 2013, MP Muntean verbally abused and publicly threatened Dumitrita Ciuvaga, a journalist from station Publika TV, to express his dissatisfaction with the way the station reported on his actions and behavior during the meeting.

Such behavior on the part of Mr Muntean is unacceptable given his status as a representative of the people. Moreover, it is de facto interference with the editorial policy of a media outlet which is prohibited by the current legislation. Freedom of the press and personal freedom are the pillars that support an authentic democracy,  they cannot be sacrificed in a democratic society.
 
Intimidating journalists for publishing criticism and deliberately hindering their professional activity is a serious violation of the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press; both are liable for criminal prosecution. The seriousness of such situations is much more pronounced if journalists are threatened by persons holding public office since society thus receives the message that such behavior is normal and acceptable.
 
Media NGOs are asking MP Muntean to publicly apologize to the journalist he intimidated.  They are further asking the Permanent Bureau of Parliament to examine this situation along with the aggressive behavior of other MPs against the media up to this point and to make its decision public.
 
 
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Press Freedom Committee
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Journalistic Investigations Center
“Acces-info” Center
Association of Electronic Press “APEL”
Young Journalist Center of Moldova