Photojournalist Elena Covalenco banned entry into Transnistrian region

Photojournalist Elena Covalenco was banned entry into the Transnistrian region. She learned about this on Thursday evening when she intended to go to a football match that was to be played at the stadium in Tiraspol.

Elena Covalenco said that she received accreditation from the Sheriff Football Club for taking pictures at the encounter between Sheriff Tiraspol and Rome. When she travelled to the checkpoint together with another two photojournalists, she was handed over the order to ban her entry into the Transnistrian region. Her mates continued their way, while she had to return to Chisinau.

“I presume that this so-called ban, which is actually valid for three years, is connected to a trip I made to the left side of the Nistru in the middle of June. I then accompanied a journalist who was producing an article for Deutsche Welle,” stated Elena Covalenco.

Contacted by IPN for a comment, Promo-LEX executive director Ion Manole said that this situation reveals at least two problems. One of them is legal in character and is related to the limitation of access to the country’s territory, namely the restriction of the freedom of movement. The second problem refers to the sports activity. Promo-LEX earlier made a call to the UEFA not to allow holding football matches in Tiraspol as long as the human rights on the left side of the Nistru are not respected.

According to Ion Manole, it is also a matter related to the Moldovan Football Federation without whose consent UEFA probably wouldn’t have moved the matches from Chisinau to Tiraspol in 2022. “I see a problem we experience here at the level of society. We do not discuss, do not communicate and someone, behind our back, does what they want, primarily those from the left side of the Nistru, who had this possibility and got used to influencing the situation,” said the director of Promo-LEX.

Ion Manole also said that in such cases, the constitutional authorities are those that should intervene. Regrettably, during 30 years, no appropriate reaction was seen, but the authorities should react and should do their best as they have instruments. They should not only monitor or inform.

The Reintegration Policies Bureau came with a reaction on Friday morning, saying such a regrettable act shows that Tiraspol implements another agenda than the publicly declared one and brings the negotiation process to a deadlock. “The measures taken by the unconstitutional authorities hinder the official Chisinau and its foreign partners in their efforts to find a peaceful and durable solution to the Transnistrian conflict. The abusive practices used by Tiraspol with regard to representatives of the press and civil society, the constant restriction of the freedom of moment and other brutal limitations of the human rights in the region can no longer be tolerated. Consequently, the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova will take legitimate response measures to discourage such actions,” noted the Bureau.

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