Media non-governmental organizations voice their deep concern for, and disapproval of the intimidating actions of members of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces against the TV8 journalists Viorica Tataru and Andrei Captarenco.
According to the information published on TV8 website, on 9 February 2021, during their journalistic activity, Viorica Tataru and Andrei Captarenco were blocked by the military peacekeeping forces when crossing the Nistru River in Gura Bacului Village. The peacekeepers were disturbed by journalists making video footages while performing their professional duty and asked them to delete all the materials, threatening them with arrest.
We draw the attention of the legitimate authorities of the Republic of Moldova to the severe interferences with the human rights and freedoms safeguarded at national and international level, expressed as both violation of the individual freedom and safety, and interferences with the special rights granted to journalists.
According to Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, individual freedom and security of a person are inviolable, and that searching, detaining in custody or arresting a person are permitted only in cases and pursuant to the procedure established by the law.
According to Article 4(1) of the Law on Freedom of Expression, the State shall guarantee the freedom of expression of the media, stating that nobody may forbid or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest, unless it is done within the limits of the law. What is more, paragraph (5) of the same article provides that the intentional illegal hindering of the media’s work shall entail criminal liability.
The signatory organizations condemn strongly the abusive and illegal actions of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces against journalists and stress that tolerating such severe violations is unacceptable.
We also remind that this is not the only case when the military peacekeeping forces defy the journalists’ rights and guarantees, enshrined in the Moldovan law.
With regards to the aforementioned, we ask the Moldovan Delegation to the Unified Control Commission (UCC) and the Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of the Moldovan Government, Olga Cebotari, to undertake the following, by virtue of their legal duties:
- take note of the violations committed by the Joint Peacekeeping Forces;
- request a meeting of the UCC;
- demand that a procedure to establish the unlawful nature of the Joint Peacekeepers Forces’ actions is initiated;
- make public the information on the measures taken following the notification.
We also call on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the process of establishing the unlawful nature of the peacekeepers’ actions and sanctioning those who broke the law.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association