MOLDOVAN AUTHORITIES BLOCK CITIZENS’ ACCESS TO INFORMATION
The Moldovan authorities have been increasingly blocking citizens’ access to information, believes Dr. Dumitru Alaiba, Director of the Policies and Reforms Center (CPR).
In his interview with Radio Free Europe, Alaiba said that a proof to this are “the laws that appear literally from nowhere and are railroaded through parliament in defiance of law-stipulated procedures. Such are e.g. the laws on introduction of the mixed election system, on tax amnesty, on the construction of Arena Chisinau and other”.
“From my own experience I can say that when you inquire necessary information from a state institution, you receive either no reply at all or a formal and useless answer, or the institution begins playing ping-pong with you. Officials expertly find any pretext to provide no data to you. I guess they do this either to maintain a decades-old bureaucratic tradition or to show the civil society its proper place”, said the expert.
In his words, in Moldova most citizens have not the faintest idea about how to write and submit an inquiry for obtaining information. Moreover, they do not even imagine that they actually have the legal right to information, and that officials are precisely the ones who must help citizens in this.
“But in Moldova everything is diametrically different: officials do not usually lift a finger to help, though they realize they are thus violating citizens’ rights. On the example of our Center alone, we can state nearly 30 instances when the organization’s right to information was violated by state institutions”, stated Dumitru Alaiba.
“Moldovan officials are plagued with obsession to control information. But they forget that they work at citizens’ expense and that state institutions’ information belongs to citizens. Of course, information nowadays is more accessible thanks to the Internet, and state agencies’ replies are gradually getting a little bit more intelligible. But upon the whole, the general picture would not change for years on end”, said the expert.