Blog/World Press Freedom Day: Stop Media Ban announce European Petition against Moldovan Government crackdown on press

World Press Freedom Day: Stop Media Ban announce European Petition against Moldovan Government crackdown on press

By Stop Media BanMay 3, 2024

Press Statement from Stop Media Ban 

Chișinău, Moldova / May 3, 2024 – May 3rd marks World Press Freedom Day, declared by the United Nations General Assembly to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. The latter is secured and universally recognized by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Moldova is a prime example of a country which aims for European membership yet fails to comply with the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression.

Since 2022, media freedoms in Moldova have been rapidly declining. The government banned the broadcasting rights of 6 oppositional TV channels. This pattern continued during 2023, with over 20 additional media outlets banned and hundreds of journalists prevented from carrying out their work.

The restrictions on media coincided with the regional elections in Moldova with the ambition to silence oppositional press. This was criticized by the OSCE, who noted that: “Moldova’s local elections were calm and efficiently managed with candidates mostly able to campaign freely, but the broad powers of the government commission for exceptional situations were used to restrict freedom of speech and association as well as the right to stand.”

The restraints on media as well as problems with the independence of the judiciary and state corruption were highlighted in a recent report by the U.S. State Department.

In its annual Moldova Country Report on Human Rights, the U.S. State Department lists several violations relating to media restraints including:

  • Serious restrictions on freedom of expression and media, including censorship and the enforcement of or threat to enforce criminal libel “laws” to limit expression.
  • Serious restrictions on internet freedom.
  • Substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive “laws” on the organization, funding, or operation of nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations.

The report further highlights that, due to corruption and political influence compromising the judiciary’s independence, journalists encounter barriers in their pursuit of truth and justice.

The lack of equal application of the law undermines public trust and perpetuates a climate of uncertainty, hindering the media’s role as a watchdog of democracy.

On this World Press Freedom Day, Stop Media Ban reaffirms its unwavering commitment to defending the fundamental right to freedom of the press.

For this reason, Stop Media Ban is launching a petition addressing European institutions calling on the Government of Moldova to reverse hostile policies and recommit to defending press freedom as a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of democracy.

As an EU candidate, Moldova must implement actionable steps to protect the right of Moldovan citizens to their right to freedom of opinion. To safeguard journalists and media workers in their endeavors to execute their mission as the carriers of truth, Moldova must implement European Media Freedom Act as a pillar of its European Union membership.

Stop Media Ban will submit the petition to European institutions following the new legislative term. It is our mission to ensure that the voices of journalists are heard, and that the truth continues to shine bright in Moldova and in every corner of the world.


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