Blog/Moldovan Government shuts down 7 additional TV channels

Moldovan Government shuts down 7 additional TV channels

By Stop Media BanMay 8, 2024

Press Statement from Stop Media Ban 

Chisinau, Moldova, May 8, 2024 – Moldova’s Investment Commission is planning to ban seven additional TV channels and two radio stations, further extending its censorship practices. Since last year, over 20 media outlets in Moldova have been shut down without any judicial review.

Ludmila Belcencova, President of Stop Media Ban, has condemned the government’s actions, labeling them as targeted censorship aimed at stifling dissenting voices within Moldovan society.

“The government’s approach clearly indicates a widespread censorship agenda. Their aim is to suppress all dissenting voices, and without intervention from relevant European institutions, they may succeed,” remarked Belcencova.

In a recent interview with oppositional journalist Yury Dud, Moldovan President Maia Sandu admitted that the media bans were being carried out without the appropriate judicial procedures.

“Recently Moldova banned several TV channels without judicial review. What is this if not censorship,” asked Dud. He further asked the President if it’s reasonable to defend democratic values using undemocratic methods.

“Shutting down all oppositional media undermines the foundations of democracy and the rule of law in Moldova. Moldovan citizens are being deprived of their basic rights to express their opinions and make their voices heard. European institutions must intervene immediately and uphold fundamental freedoms in our country,” said Belcencova.

“The government’s autocratic policies persist under the pretext of integration. However, as the President mentioned, respect for the law is paramount in Moldova, encompassing constitutional rights to freedom of speech, democracy, and the rule of law,” concluded Belcencova.

Criticism of Moldova’s media crackdown is also reflected in the U.S. State Department’s annual Moldova Country Report on Human Rights. The report cites various violations, including:

  • Serious restrictions on freedom of expression and media, including censorship and the threat of enforcing criminal libel laws to suppress expression.
  • Significant constraints on internet freedom.
  • Substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and association, including overly restrictive laws on the organization, funding, or operation of non-governmental and civil society organizations.

The report highlights corruption and political influence as serious threats to judicial independence, with journalists facing obstacles in their pursuit of truth and justice.

Stop Media Ban urges the European political community to take a firm stance against the suppression of media in Moldova. It calls on the Moldovan government to reverse its hostile policies toward press freedom as the country pursues EU membership.

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