Two reporting crews arrested while filming a commemorative action

Two reporting crews were arrested by the policemen of Centru District Police Office while doing their job. The crew of PRO TV Chisinau was arrested in the street, while shooting a march of the Liberal Party (LP), which planned to lay flowers at the graves of the National Assembly members on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the unification of Romania with Basarabia. The journalists were arrested together with other 15 representatives of the LP by numerous policemen and were transported to the Police Office. The second crew, of the DTV channel, was arrested at the headquarters of the Centru District Police Office, Info-Prim Neo reports. According to a press-release from LP, on Tuesday, March 27, at 11.00 at the crossroad of Bernardazi and Armeneasca streets, five police crews rushed in upon the 15 LP members, including the president of the party Mihai Ghimpu, and vice-president Dorin Chirtoaca. The representatives of the LP say they were legally walking on the sidewalk towards the Central Cemetery, without disturbing the public order or traffic. According to the cited sources, both the members of the LP and the team of PRO TV were caned by the policemen. The reasons behind this action were not made public. The LP expresses protest against the inhuman actions of the police and strongly condemns them. News director of PRO TV Chisinau, Corneliu Durnescu, told Info-Prim Neo that the reason set forth by the Police Commissioner Dumitru Rusu is that the “arrest of the reporting crew was a mistake occurred due to the cram”. According to the News Director of PRO TV Chisinau it is obvious that the arrest of the crew was a premeditated action, as the reporter Maia Andrusca was holding a PRO TV-labelled microphone in her hands, and the cameraman was shooting. Moreover, on the filmed images it is clearly seen that the crew was shooting from a distance of 50 metres from the place were the protesters were pushed by force in the police car. Also, not a single policeman asked the crew of PRO TV Chisinau to show their identification cards and did not present their names during the arrest, Durnescu said. “We consider this is an action aimed at intimidating our TV channel which tries to do its job. We call the Ministry of Internal Affairs to present official apologies for the incident and we request the Ministry to punish the police officer who committed the abuse”, is said in a protest note of PRO TV Chisinau, signed by TV director Catalin Giosan. A few moments later, the crew of DTV was arrested directly at the headquarters of the Centru District Police Office. They came to find information about the arrest of the LP members. According to DTV director Ion Terguta, the policemen took out the tape from the camera and cleared it, and the reporter Tatiana Gavriliuc was threatened that penal proceedings will be instituted against her if she will insist upon this issue. Both TV stations announced the international organisations and the national NGOs about the violations committed by the policemen. The Press Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs refused to offer any information to Info-Prim Neo, and Police Commissioner of Centru District Police Dumitru Rusu did not answer his phone.
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