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Moldovan authorities’ actions against mass media and freedom of expression in the Republic of Moldova must be stopped immediately

Written declaration No. 520 | Doc. 12919 | 26 April 2012

Mr Grigore PETRENCO, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Ms Karin ANDERSEN, Norway, UEL ; Ms Þuriður BACKMAN, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Olga BORZOVA, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Tuur ELZINGA, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Annette GROTH, Germany, UEL ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Alexey KNYSHOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Jean-Paul LECOQ, France, UEL ; Mr George LOUKAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Anvar MAKHMUTOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Ms Maureen O'SULLIVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Alexander POCHINOK, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Alexey PUSHKOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Ivan RAČAN, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Klaas de VRIES, Netherlands, SOC

We wish to express our deep concern about the decision to withdraw the broadcasting licence of the private TV channel NIT by the Broadcasting Co-ordination Council of the Republic of Moldova, on 5 April 2012. Such severe punishment of the television channel, which is well known in Moldova and abroad as an opposition TV channel, can be seen as a form of political retaliation by the Moldovan authorities against a dissenting media outlet.

The action taken, moreover, raises major questions about the Moldovan Broadcasting Co-ordination Council’s independence and impartiality, and about the functioning of democratic institutions in general.

Media freedom is one of the basic principles of democracy. Respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights are key commitments undertaken by the Moldovan authorities in their dealings with the Council of Europe. We urge the Moldovan authorities to honour their international and domestic commitments to democracy, human rights and media freedom.

We demand that the Moldovan authorities put an immediate end to any arbitrary measures concerning NIT and restore its broadcasting licence.