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Authorities ban Romanian television station

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a press release of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), an IFJ regional group:

EFJ Denounces "Political Manipulation" of Broadcasting in Moldova

The European Federation of Journalists, the European group of the International Federation of Journalists, has pledged its full support to journalists' organisations in Moldova in their struggle for a fair and transparent attribution of broadcasting frequencies after the ban of Romanian RTV1 in Moldova.

"This ban is simply political manipulation", said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "We urge the Moldavian authorities to reconsider this decision and to follow the rules. The government has to show that after a decade of attacks to press freedom, the country is now ripe for a democratic transition that includes press freedom, pluralism and respect for journalists' rights".

Last week the Coordination Council for Audiovisual of the Republic of Moldova (CCA) decided to remove the Romanian Society of Television (SRTV) from the domestic broadcasting market and to reopen the attribution of this frequency, although the license released in 2006 by the Moldova authorities officially runs until 2010.

An appeal against this decision was endorsed by various organisations including the Journalist's Trade Union from Republic of Moldova, the Association of Independent Press, the Committee for Press Freedom, the Center for Independent Journalism, the Association of Independent Jurists, the Association of Independent TV Journalists, the Access-Info Center, the Association of Electronic Press, the Committee of Human and Professional Rights, and the Jurists for Human Rights.

The EFJ affiliate in Romania, MediaSind, as well as the Trade Union of Journalists of the Republic of Moldova (UJM) will challenge the decision of the CCA in the courts.

The EFJ supports MediaSind and the UJM in the organisation of protests, in particular in view of the upcoming European action day "Stand Up for Journalism" on 5 November, launched by the EFJ.

The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more than 30 countries.

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