Measures to ensure free movement of foreign journalists in Moldova requested

Media nongovernmental organizations express their concern about the Border Police’s decision to refuse entry to two foreign journalists recently. Such limitations run counter to the democratic norms and negatively affect the free flow of information, it is said in a statement signed by the NGOs, to which IPN makes reference.

On January 16, Roman Shutov, programs director of the portal of Kyiv was banned from entering Moldova to take part in a training seminar for journalists. The expert wrote on his Facebook page that the police in Moldova could not be convinced by the agenda of the events he presented and by the invitation that he received from the U.S. Embassy in Moldova.

In the second case, Irada Zeynalova, presenter at the Russian channel NTV, the same day had to fly back from the Chisinau International Airport as she could not provide evidence to confirm the meeting agreed with Moldovan officials.

“We consider the reason invoked by the Border Police to explain its decision is unconvincing. In all the cases they said the journalists didn’t meet the conditions for being allowed to cross the state border. But the employees of the Border Police contradict themselves at least in the case of the Ukrainian colleague Roman Shutov as they said that he initially didn’t declare the real goal of his visit to the Republic of Moldova, but later tried to justify his visit by presenting a set of documents, but this fact didn’t spare him of the refusal of entry,” reads the statement.

The signatory organizations call on the Government to take immediate measures to ensure the free movement of foreign journalists that visit out country, in accordance with the provisions of the national legislation and international conventions in the field. The Ministry of the Interior is requested not to apply restrictive and selective measures and to allow all the journalists to carry out their professional duties unhampered.

The statement was signed by the Independent Journalism Center, Independent Press Association, Electronic Press Association, Journalistic Investigations Center, Committee for the Freedom of the Press, Association of Independent Tele-Journalists and “Acces-Info” Center.

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