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Media non-government organizations request that access for media representatives to the parliamentary chamber be restored

21 March 2014
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Non-government organizations supporting the media request that the management of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova solve the problem of access to the parliamentary chamber for media representatives, thus keeping a promise previously made. Limiting journalists’ access to the plenary meetings of Parliament contravenes the principle of transparency in decision making and is a violation of the freedom of expression.
 
The renovated Parliament House has a separate room for media where journalists can follow parliamentary meetings by means of live streaming on several monitors without having direct access to the parliamentary chamber. Camera operators are not allowed to shoot their own videos of plenary meetings or to take pictures in the building’s hallways. Moreover, transmitting images to the monitors means that camera operators cannot control the shooting angle. These technical conditions create obstacles for journalists.
 
The management of Parliament and the leaders of the groups forming the parliamentary majority promised on several occasions to find ways to allow the media back into the parliamentary chamber; however, these promises have not been translated into concrete action.
 
We consider that the legislature’s action isolating media representatives has no legal or moral grounds. The public has the right to know the position of each member of parliament on the topics discussed, and journalists must be able to cover various aspects of legislative activity freely.
 
The signatories request the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to identify and to take immediate, concrete action to ensure that access for the media to the parliamentary chamber is restored. Given Moldovan realities, we think that only the direct access of journalists to parliamentary meetings can guarantee the citizens’ right to information of public interest and ensure genuine transparency in decision making.
 
Independent Journalism Center
Independent Press Association
“Acces-info” Center
Moldovan Young Journalist’s Center
Electronic Press Association
Journalistic Investigations Center
Independent TV Journalists Association
Press Freedom Committee