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Cameraman arrested and beaten by police

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is an 11 October 2008 letter to Moldovan authorities by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an IPI affiliate:

H.E. Zinaida Greceanii
Prime Minister
Government of the Republic of Moldova
1 Piata Marii Adunari Nationale
Casa Guvernului
Chisinau, Moldova
Fax: +373 22 242 696

H.E. Valentin Mejinschi
Minister of Internal Affairs
Government of the Republic of Moldova
1 Piata Marii Adunari Nationale
Casa Guvernului
Chisinau, Moldova
Fax: +373 22 242 696

Vienna, 11 October 2008

Your Excellencies,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), wishes to express its concern at the violence recently perpetrated against media representatives in Moldova.

According to information before SEEMO, in the late evening of 8 October 2008, Mihai Sambra, a cameraman for PRO TV, a television station, was arrested by a police patrol in Chisinau. He was detained, and beaten during the night. Sambra was released the following morning, without receiving any explanation for his arrest. He suffered trauma from the incident, and sustained a broken nose. Other PRO TV staff was reportedly also intimidated by the police while reporting on a trial in Orhei during the morning of 8 October 2008.

SEEMO calls on Your Excellencies to initiate an immediate investigation into these incidents, and to send a strong signal that such violence against the media will not be tolerated.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic
SEEMO Secretary General

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