Media NGOs describe sequestration of issue of newspaper “Cuvantul” as serious abuse


chainMedia nongovernmental organizations consider the steps taken by the economic police division of the Rezina Police Inspectorate, namely the sequestration of the issue of the independent regional weekly “Cuvantul” (“Word”), are a serious abuse and an attempt to intimidate the journalists of this newspaper. The weekly in the recent period reportedly published a number of investigations about the property and personal interests of the district’s administration, especially Eleonora Graur, head of Rezina district and deputy president of the Democratic Party, IPN reports.

In a press statement, the media organizations say the issue of the independent regional weekly “Cuvantul” was sequestrated while this was being transported from the publishing house to the postal center in Rezina. The reason invoked by the police in Rezina – the fact that the driver who transported the issue of “Cuvantul” paper by a private car through Rezina town didn’t have a certificate for transportation – is illegal and is a violation of the current transport norms. The sequestration of the issues of publications is a practice of totalitarian regimes and is an antidemocratic deviation and a serious attack on the freedom of expression.

The media NGOs call on Minister of the Interior Alexandru Jizdan to open an internal inquiry and to order to immediately release the newspapers “Cuvantul” so that they reach the readers and these are not deprived of the right to information, to penalize the persons who ordered to sequestrate the issue and to exclude such antidemocratic practices from the activity of the police.

The NGOs also request Prime Minister Pavel Filip and Speaker of Parliament Andrian Candu to intervene and elucidate the real causes of the incident and the possible political implications. The EU Delegation to Moldova, the U.S. Embassy and other development partners were notified of this case and were asked to intervene to ensure the editorial freedom of independent Moldovan publications.

The statement was signed by: Independent Journalism Center, Association of Independent Press, Electronic Press Association, Journalistic Investigations Center, “Acces-Info” Center and Youth Media Center.