Moldova`s Emerge Commission suspended the licenses of six TV channels. It became known on Friday evening, December 16, 2022. We are talking about the TV channels “First in Moldova”, “RTR-Moldova”, “Akcent-TV”, as well as “NTV-Moldova”, “TV-6” and “Orhei-TV”. President Maia Sandu supported the suspension of broadcasting. Thus, extrajudicial, the basic principle of a democratic society, the right to freedom of speech, was violated. And the fact that TV channels must stop broadcasting on December 19 demonstrates that these media are deprived of the right to effective judicial protection.
The Moldovan authorities explained that the closure of the TV channels was due to the fact that the media covered the events in Ukraine and Moldova incorrectly. Prior to the event with the closure of TV channels, these media did not receive any warnings. The wording is not clear to us, because the standards for publishing events in Moldova have not been made public, and this vague definition indicates the political bias of the decision.
On June 23, 2022, at the EU summit, it was decided to grant Moldova the status of an EU candidate. The right to freely express one’s opinion and criticizes is guaranteed by democratic standards. Solidaritätsnetz International immediately informed European democratic institutions about the closure of the TV channels.
The authorities of the Republic of Moldova must present the arguments that prompted the Commission for Emergency Situations to suspend the broadcasting licenses of 6 TV channels, said Jānis Mažeiks, head of the EU Delegation in Chisinau. In correspondence with Solidaritätsnetz International, the office the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed the opinion that such actions, namely the closure of media, should be verified by national judicial authorities. A huge number of public figures, journalists and human rights activists criticized the actions of the regime of President Sandu.
The official authorities in Moldova remain silent, not wishing to clarify the legal side of the issue, but only sometimes broadcasting political slogans to the public. An attempt to “standardize the truth” and launch an attack on the rights of civil society indicates the immaturity of democracy in Moldova, non-compliance with EU requirements, about which we will immediately inform the interested structures in Brussels, Vienna and Geneva.