Nongovernmental media organizations expressed their concern about the abusive practice of intimidation of journalists by police employees. The statement was made after the portal NewsMaker published an article about the existence of a criminal case started against two police officers and the editorial staff was sued by the article’s protagonists. The two persons also complained to the police, asking that journalist Alexandra Batanova (author of the article) should be held accountable for calumny, IPN reports.
The editorial staff of NewsMaker found out about the complaints from the head of Police Sector No. 1 Nicolae Cornescu, who, contrary to the procedural norms defined by the Contravention Code, went himself to the head office of the media outlet and, not finding Alexandra Batanova at the place, left a telephone number for being contacted.
The media NGOs said that under the law, the authority responsible for dealing with the complaints was obliged to invite the journalist to the police sector in written form, informing her about the right to be questioned in the presence of a lawyer.
The nongovernmental organizations ask the Ministry of Home Affairs to take note of the illegal actions of Nicolae Cornescu and to communicate publicly the measures taken in relation to him. They also call on the law enforcement bodies to abide by the law and to abandon the abusive and illegal practices of intimidation of journalists.
The statement was signed by the Independent Journalism Center, the Association of Independent Press, the Electronic Press Association, the Committee for the Freedom of the Press, the Association of Independent Tele-Journalists, the Center “Acces-Info”, RISE Moldova and the Association of Environment and Ecotourism Journalists.