Media NGOs condemn state's obstruction of journalists
In September, six media NGOs issued a statement condemning Moldova's State Protection and Guard Service's obstruction of journalists' work. On 9 September, Guard Service employees blocked journalists' access to the Central Election Commission headquarters in an effort to keep them from questioning President Igor Dodon who was at the Commission to register his candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections on 1 November 2020.
NGOs concerned over remarks from Audiovisual Council representative
A new member of the Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Moldova, Ala Ursu-Antoci, reportedly stated that TV stations do not have the right to criticise state institutions and political parties. The statement was made at an 11 August meeting of the Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Moldova. In response to the remark, several representatives of media NGOs expressed concern, stating that the comment "is an attempt to silence the press".
#Civilsociety organizations from #Moldova, the Equality Council and the Press Council urge contestants for presidential elections and their supporters not to use hate speech, and urge the media institutions to prevent the spread of such speech.— Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (LRCM) (@CRJMoldova) October 2, 2020
As reported on the Monitor, in June 2020, Moldova's Parliament adopted a law on non-commercial organisations after two years of sustained CSO advocacy for parliament to adopt the law without any amendments that would restrict civic freedoms.
Civil society groups have continued to analyse the legislative provisions. Promo-LEX Association and its partners found that one provision prohibits associations from providing paid services to electoral contestants. The NGOs view "the impossibility of providing paid services to electoral contestants [as] an interference with the right of non-profit organizations to obtain funds, an inherent part of the right to association". Citing European and international standards of freedom of association, Promo-LEX has called on the constitutional court to review this provision ahead of the 1 November presidential elections.
Several protests took place around socio-economic and political issues as detailed below:
- On 3 August, the Action and Solidarity Party held a rally in front of the presidential administration, calling on President Igor Dodon not to appoint Vladislav Clima as head of Chisinau's Court of Appeals.
- On 6 August, PAS organised a flash mob at the presidential administration to demand state intervention in and protection of the agricultural sector, which is on the verge of collapse. Following this action, agricultural workers gathered to protest. They took their farming equipment and blocked several major roads in the country.