Media NGOs seek investigation of actions to intimidate journalists

Media NGOs are concerned about the actions of anonymous individuals who intimidate journalists and their editorial offices and ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs to identify these individuals and sanction them in accordance with the law in force. 

Thus, the director of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Moldova (CIJM), Cornelia Cozonac, received a letter in which she was intimidated and threatened with physical violence by using licentious language. The person who sent the letter signed with the name of the journalist Elena Bancila. In another recent case, a letter containing DVDs with different viruses was sent to the editorial offices of Ziarul de Garda and of portal from CIJM address. This time, the person who sent the letter also signed with the name of another journalist, Mariana Colun.

Note that the journalists Cornelia Cozonac and Mariana Colun submitted complaints to the police, claiming that personal data, such as their first and last name, their job addresses were used by strangers without their consent in order to ‘infect the computers from the editorial offices with malicious programs and/or to alter the integrity of the information’.

The actions of those anonymous individuals who send threatening letters and DVDs with viruses violate various legal provisions of the Criminal Code, including the Article 177 – deliberately disseminating legally protected information about personal life without his/her consent; Article 349 – threats or violence against an official or a person performing a civic duty; Article 155 – threatening murder or severe bodily injury or damage to health. Also, the Press Law stipulates expressly in the paragraph (3) that the State guarantees the defense of honor and dignity of a journalist and protects his or her health, life and property.

Media NGOs ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs to identify and punish those who have acted maliciously, trying to intimidate journalists and cause damage to the editorial offices of media outlets.

Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Association of Electronic Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee 
Association of Independent TV Journalists
‘Access-Info’ Center
RISE Moldova