Photojournalist from Chisinau, declared undesirable in the Transnistrian region. Reaction of media NGOs

Photojournalist of IPN news agency Elena Covalenco has been declared undesirable on the territory of the Transnistrian region for a period of three years. In response, media NGOs condemned the illegal restrictions imposed by Tiraspol in relation to the media and asked the legitimate authorities of the state to intervene, according to a statement

Elena Covalenco announced about the ban imposed on her by the separatist regime on her Facebook page. The ban, signed by the so-called minister of state security of the self-proclaimed region, was issued on September 21. The unconstitutional authorities on the left bank of the Dniester declared the photojournalist “undesirable” for a period of three years after she documented a report in Tiraspol in July. 

“I have just been notified by the separatist forces from Tiraspol that I am banned from entering a region of my country. I was just going to a game. We thank the constitutional authorities for doing everything possible so that today’s game could take place in a territory where your security depends on the will of an illegal regime,” IPN photojournalist wrote.  

In a statement signed by several media NGOs, the signatory organizations condemned the abusive and illegal actions of separatist forces from Tiraspol against journalists and underlined that such serious violations cannot be tolerated. “We remind you that Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova guarantees the inviolability of individual freedom and safety of a person, and by virtue of Article 4 para. (1) of the Law on freedom of expression, the state is obliged to guarantee the freedom of expression of the media. Thus, no one can prohibit or prevent the media from spreading information of public interest except under the law. Moreover, para. (5) of the same article provides that the intentional unlawful hindering of the work of the media entails criminal liability,” the reaction said. 

NGOs call on the authorities of Moldova “to take note of these defiant practices and to take the necessary measures to ensure the rights and freedoms guaranteed to the media by law.”

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