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Media organizations: The prohibition on entry into the Republic of Moldova applied to foreign journalists contravene the European rules

17 January 2018
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Media non-government organizations express their concern about the prohibitions on entry to the Republic of Moldova for two foreign journalists, recently applied by the Border Police. Such restrictions of circulation contravene the democratic norms and adversely affect the free information flux.

Thus, on 16th January 2018, Roman Shutov, program director of the portal from Kiev, was not allowed to enter to the Republic of Moldova in order to participate at the training for journalists. The expert wrote on his Facebook page, that policemen from Chisinau were convinced neither by the agenda which he presented, nor by the invitation he received from the US Embassy in Moldova.
The second case was that of Irada Zeynalova, a presenter of NTV station from Russia, who returned to Moscow from Chisinau International airport on the same day because she was unable to confirm  with necessary documents the meeting with the officials from the Republic of Moldova.

We consider unconvincing the reason used by the Border Police (BP) to justify the refuse. In all cases it has been referred to the fact that journalists have not met the conditions for crossing the State border. But, at least regarding our Ukrainian colleague Roman Shutov the BP members contradict themselves saying that initially he had not declared the real purpose of his visit to Moldova, but "after that, he tried to justify the visit, submitting a set of documents, but this did not exempt him from the decision on refusal of entry into the Republic of Moldova".

We would like to remind, that in recent years the European institutions had attracted the attention of the Moldovan authorities to the violations of rights of the foreign journalists who have been refused the entry to Moldova. "I appeal to the Moldovan authorities to reconsider the use of restrictive and selective measures with regard to the media that are affected by the ban on entry and to allow all journalists to conduct their professional activities unrestrictedly", - said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the media as early as in 2016 stressing that "limitations of travel widely applied to the journalists negatively affect the free information flux".

We urge the Government of the Republic of Moldova to take urgent measures to ensure the free movement of the foreign journalists visiting our country, in accordance with the provisions of national legislation and international conventions in this field. We call the Ministry of Interior not to use the restrictive and selective measures regarding the entry of the foreign media representatives to the Republic of Moldova, and to permit to all the journalists to conduct their professional activities unrestrictedly.

Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Electronic Press Association
Journalistic Investigations Center
Press Freedom Committee  
Association of Independent TV Journalists  
"Acces-info" Center

Digital Communication Network