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Media and human rights NGOs issue statement on threats against newspaper

(IJC/IFEX) - 21 December 2009 - Media and human rights NGOs are speaking out about threats against the "Ziarul de Garda" (ZdG) newspaper following a series of investigations on alleged corruption at the National Railway Company in Chisinau.

After ZdG published three parts of an investigation report about the alleged corruption in its 26 November, 3 December and 10 December issues, a series of phone, electronic and direct threats were sent to the authors of the investigation and their families and to the entire newspaper team, as well as to the sources who offered information to the journalists.

According to the ZdG team, the threats contained explicit innuendos of "more efficient" methods to settle accounts with those involved in the investigation.

The media and human rights organisations share the concern expressed by the ZdG team and condemn any intimidation of journalists who honestly perform their duty of informing the public on corruption cases occurring in Moldova.

The organisations call on the state authorities - the Ministry of Internal Affairs, General Prosecutor's Office - to look into the information provided by ZdG and to prevent similar actions in the future. The organisations also urge the state authorities to investigate any intimidation of the press and to inform the public of the results of the investigations. The signatory NGOs have pledged to track the result of these investigations.

Independent Journalism Center
Electronic Press Association
Journalistic Investigations Center
Access-info Center
Committee for Freedom of the Press
Independent Press Association
Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden

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