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Media NGOs: restricting journalists’ access to a public event is illegal

30 September 2013
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Media NGOs are concerned about the fact that journalists from the local newspaper Glia Drochiană were prohibited access to a meeting of the President of the Moldovan Parliament Igor Corman with public officials and representatives of public services in Drochia, and are asking that this not be repeated in the future.

The local newspaper Glia Drochiană announced that on Friday 20 September, reporter Galina Butenco was insistently asked to leave the room where the President of Parliament was having a meeting with public authorities, entrepreneurs, and heads of decentralized regional public services among others. The request came from a person who did not identify himself but implied that he was from the President’s press service.

We, the signers, remind the public that journalists have the legal right to participate in public meetings so as to exercise their professional obligations to obtain and disseminate information and that intentionally restricting journalists’ access is a criminal offence. The meeting of the President of Parliament with public officials and mayors in Drochia during working hours was a public event; no one can impose interdictions on obtaining information in such a case.

We are asking the administration of the Moldovan Parliament to initiate an internal investigation concerning the case of Glia Drochiană, to publicly announce the results of the investigation, and to refrain from such practices in the future.
Association of Independent Press
Independent Journalism Center
APEL Electronic Press Association
Journalistic Investigations Center
Young Journalist Center of Moldova
Press Freedom Committee
Association of Independent TV Journalists
“Acces-info” Center