On November 13, 2020, SPGS employees treated roughly the reporter of TV station PRO TV Chisinau, while the journalist was trying to address some questions to Igor Dodon, at the rally held in support of his own candidacy in the presidential election.
We remind the protection officers that according to Article 4 of the Law on State Protection and Guard Service, SPGS must comply with the principle of legality and observe the human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.
Note that according to Law on Freedom of Expression, nobody can prohibit or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest, unless prescribed so by the law. At the same time, according to Article 180 of the Criminal Code, the intentional obstruction of the activity of the media or of journalists can be subject to criminal liability.
We inform repeatedly the emphasize that the employees of the State Protection and Guard Service that SPGS is a governmental body funded from public money and it must protect government officials from physical dangers, not from journalists’ questions.
It is with regret and concern that we also emphasize that this was not the first time when the employees of the State Protection and Guard Service abused their duties in relation to media representatives and disregarded the principle of freedom of the press.
We call on the SPGS to cease such vicious and illegal practices and to instruct its officers to refrain from abusive behaviors against journalists.
Independent Journalism Center
Environment and Ecotourism Journalists’ Association
Association of Electronic Press
Association of Independent Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
Press Freedom Committee