According to the portal, the incident occurred on Friday, 10 May, while NordNews.md reporter and cameraman were working on the site to document a subject about the Mayor’s supposed attempts to deprive a foreign investor of several plots of agricultural land.
The video showed how the Mayor refused to answer the journalist’s questions and invokes the reasons previously stated by the leader of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, in a discussion with journalists from another media outlet: ‘Your television belongs to bandits.’ When the reporter insisted on other questions, the Mayor started to insult him.
We condemn the inappropriate behaviour of Mayor Ghenadie Ioxa in relation to media representatives and we qualify his abusive speech against the NordNews.md reporter as slander and insult. We urge our colleagues to submit a complaint to the police, and the law enforcement bodies to investigate the case and sanction the local elected servant in accordance with the law providing for sanctions for intimidation of journalists.
We draw the attention of public officials to the fact that they are obliged to provide journalists with any information of public interest. Article 4 of Law on Freedom of Expression provides that ‘the media has the duty to inform the public on matters of public interest and perform journalistic investigations of such matters in accordance with its responsibilities’. We call on civil servants and local elected servants to adopt a civilized and decent behaviour in relation to journalists acting in their professional field and serving the public interest.
Note that anyone who does not agree with a journalist’s working methods or materials can contact the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova, that is to examine the complaint and give an assessment to the journalist’s professional behaviour and/or work quality.
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Association of Electronic Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee
Association of Independent TV Journalists