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Media File. Why Did Journalists Not Feel Safe During the Protests Organised by PD?

10 June 2019
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Assaulted, verbally and physically attacked. This is how the journalists who reported on the protests organised by the Democratic Party on 7, 8 and 9 June this year were treated. Media-azi.md compiled a media file containing the main violations media representatives have been exposed to during those three days.
 
Agora.md
 
In the evening of 8 June, the editorial office Agora.md was forced to stop the live broadcasting during the rallies organised in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). Journalists did not feel safe because of some aggressive persons who installed the tents and no police offices was to be seen near MIA.

Mihail Balan, President of the National Union of Veterans of the Independence War assaulted the Agora.md reporter Anastasia Antoceanu. During a live intervention, Balan hit the reporter on her hand and said: ‘You, get out of here!’.

 

Other participants in the protest also spoke to journalists using indecent language when they asked questions.

 

Anticoruptie.md
 
The Anticorupţie.md reporter Mariana Colun was verbally assaulted during a live on Facebook, by a person who introduced himself as a veteran of the war on the Nistru River and banned her to shoot. Like her colleagues from Agora.md, she claims she did not feel safe at that moment and noted the lack the representatives of the law enforcement bodies near MIA headquarters. ‘The argument that we are in a public place and that I have the right to shoot did not work. I was lucky to have a man withdraw him from my face. I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning the lack of police officers in the area. Who is the police protecting in this country?', asks the journalist rhetorically on Facebook.
 
 


 

Jurnal TV
 
On 8 June, in the evening, one participant which installed tents near the Government building told the journalists from Jurnal TV to ‘go home’ and to stop shooting. Reportedly, he was drunk.

 

Newsmaker.md
 
Reporters from the Russian language portal Newsmaker.md were assaulted both on 7 June, when the first protests organised by PD took place, but also during the next days. Besides, very often the Newsmaker.md reporters were reproached to speak in the ‘State Language’, and several protesters prohibited others to answer to questions in Russian.
 
The demonstrators, according to Newsmaker.md journalists were aggressive with reporters and one of the participants pushed the journalist Olga Gnatkova because she started to ask him questions. Also, the reporter was threatened and was not allowed to shoot.

 

 

 
On 7 June, the NewsMaker reporter, Nicolai Paholnitchi, was pushed, threatened and asked to stop shooting while he was talking with the participants in the rally.


 

PRO TV
 
Sunday, on 9 June, the reporter from Pro TV Chisinau tried several times to get closer to the PD leader, Vlad Plahotniuc, but she was treated with a high hand by one of the bodyguards. As the video shows, they try to take her away from the politician by force.

 


TV 8
 

The TV 8 reporters, who also live broadcasted on television and on social networks, also faced the hostile attitude of the participants in the demonstrations organised by PD.
 
The reporter from TV8.md Daniela Cutu was chased by a protester near the Government building. She got close to a group of demonstrators who were sharing bottles of water after the demonstration organised by PD on 9 July ended and asked them various questions. When they were asked ‘Why did you come here?’, they answered: ‘To see how beautiful you are...’.

 

 
Subsequently, one of the protesters started to intimidate her to make her give up on shooting and leave that place. ‘I told you not to shoot’, a man filmed by the cameraman told her in an aggressive tone.


 
At some point, he snapped at her: ‘Go away! Don’t you understand!?’, and when the reporter hung up the phone he splashed her with water.


 
On the same day, 7 June, a protester threatened a reporter from TV 8: ‘You will get beaten today anyway!’

 

 Unimedia.info
During the protest on 9 June, the reporters from Unimedia.info were also assaulted and intimidated by the bodyguard of top democratic leaders and members of the State Protection and Guarding Service when they attempted to ask the leaders of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, Pavel Filip and Andrian Candu, some questions.
 


 
As the video shows, the guardians had a violent behaviour towards the reporter. Every time the journalist tried to get closer to Vlad Plahotniuc and Pavel Filip, they pushed her and made her stay away from the crowd. At some point, Vladimir Plahotniuc stopped the bodyguards and told them to allow the journalist to do her work, but he did not want to answer the questions and asked her to come back later with the questions. After that a person took her away from Plahotniuc.

 

Ziarul de Gardă
 

During the demonstration of 9 June, the former Democratic Party MP, Cornel Dudnic, assaulted the reporter from Ziarul de Garda, Aliona Ciurca. As the video shows, the former MP teared her backpack.

When he was asked about his attitude, he pretended he did not understand what was that about and answered: ‘Shame on you!’.

 

Subsequently, Dudnic apologised for the incident in a comment for Unimedia.info. He said that he did not notice that he teared the backpack of the reporter.

The Independent Journalism Center urged politicians, sympathizers of political formations, employees of law enforcement bodies to respect the rights of media representatives involved in the media coverage of current events.
Furthermore, Amnesty International Moldova urged the forces defending the order not to tolerate the aggressive behaviour towards journalists and to ensure the observance of fundamental right and freedoms of citizens.