On Monday, 30 October 2023, the Commission for Exceptional Situations of Moldova issued the order to close six private TV channels and 31 online media platforms upon the request of Moldova’s information and security services. The decision comes one week before the nationwide local elections that are scheduled to take place on 5 November 2023.
This decision follows the previous closure of six more TV channels in December 2022, motivated by unfounded allegations of spreading disinformation and undermining the country’s security.
As a result of this decision, many independent journalists and media professionals were deprived of their jobs, and Moldovan citizens were deprived of access to alternative sources of information and news, except those controlled by the state. Following the ban, almost all private media channels have been banned in the country.
This full-scale media ban violates the fundamental principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the rule of law, which are essential in building a healthy democracy in Moldova. Allowing the media outlets that exclusively support the current government in power eliminates the possibility for diverse viewpoints and causes mounting challenges, including censorship, restricted freedoms, and a growing culture of fear. Independent journalists will not be able to cover the elections and the exit polls will not be able to provide insights into voters’ behaviour in such an important week for a country that is building its way to the European Union.
This full-scale media ban violates the fundamental principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the rule of law, which are essential in building a healthy democracy in Moldova.
Preserving the freedom of the press is essential to upholding the foundations of democracy and human rights, especially in the country that is in the transition to becoming a European democratic state, as the Moldovan government claims it to be. Moldova, as a European Union candidate state, cannot undermine European principles and freedoms by suppressing freedom of expression and silencing the press.
We are petitioning the European institutions to call on the Moldovan government to respect the freedom of the press and the right of the Moldovan population to information and allow the media to fulfil their crucial social mission – delivering the news.
By signing this petition, you are adding your voice to the growing chorus of individuals who stand in solidarity with independent journalists in Moldova. The petition will be submitted to all European institutions for their review.
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