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Reporter harassed by guards at military court; cameraman prevented from filming by president's bodyguards

(IJC/IFEX) - The following is a 15 October 2008 joint press release by IJC and other Moldovan media organisations:

Mass media organizations concerned over intimidation of journalists by employees of the paramilitary structures of the state

Non-governmental media organizations protest against the abusive conduct of paramilitary structures of the state towards journalists on duty.

On October 10, a reporter from the investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda, Veronica Russu, was intimidated by guards accompanying a suspect to a room of the Military Court of Chisinau. Even though they are not entitled to do so, the guards asked for her ID card, and then forbade her from taking photographs. The journalist had received permission from the judge to take pictures.

On Saturday, October 11, a cameraman from Jurnal TV, Vasile Costiuc, was hindered by the bodyguards of the Moldovan President from filming in Chisinau's Great National Assembly Square while President Voronin was visiting the pubs set up there for National Wine Day. Moreover, the cameraman says he was detained by people in civilian clothing and was taken for a car ride lasting less than an hour, during which the perpetrators watched his footage. Later they insisted that he go home.

The undersigned media NGOs call for an immediate end to the intimidation of journalists by employees of law-enforcing and paramilitary bodies. We also call on the State Protection Service, the Escort Direction of the Penitentiaries Department and other state paramilitary structures to instruct their employees as to their rights and duties in relation to journalists on duty.

Independent Press Association
Independent Journalism Center
Journalistic Investigation Center
Association of Electronic Press
Young Journalist Center from Moldova
Acces-info Center
Union of Journalists from Moldova
Press Freedom Committee

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