Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The EU attacks press freedom in Moldova

Javier Solana's spokesperson sent the following letter to "Jurnal de Chisinau", a leading independent newspaper in Moldova:

Brussels, 14 August 2009

Mrs. Rodica Mahu
Editor in Chief
Jurnal de Chisinau

Dear Ms. Rodica Mahu,

The European Union expresses bewilderment with the article published on the website jurnal.md on August 12 and in the newspaper "Jurnal de Chisinau", on August 14. The article contains unsubstantiated allegations of criminal activities and treachery allegedly committed by the Special Representative of the European Union (EUSR) for Moldova, Mr Kalman Mizsei. We expect from a professional mass media organisation that any article containing such serious allegations be carefully examined by the editor-in-chief, using established codes of ethics and the professional journalistic practices of verification of information.

The EUSR, Mr Kalman Mizsei, enjoys the full confidence of the High Representative of the European Union, Mr. Javier Solana, and of the Foreign Ministers from all 27 EU Member States who on an annual basis have reconfirmed that trust by extending his mandate. We expect above-mentioned article to be removed from the site jurnal.md, and that a denial will be published in next edition of Jurnal de Chisinau.



Cristina Gallagh
Spokesperson of the SG / HR Javier Solana

This is absolutely astonishing and inacceptable conduct from the EU. They are effectively ordering an independent newspaper to retract a story. How can an organisation which pretends to promote open societies, democracy and press freedom do such a thing?

If they really believe that Mr Miszei has been libelled, they should put together a fact-based case and go to court to seek redress. That would be the appropriate action to take.

In fact I think the EU have taken this approach because they know that any libel case wouldn't stand up in court. Mr Miszei does, in fact, have a long, sorry and well-documented history behind him; a few quick google searches will turn up the necessary evidence (e.g. this article). Remember also that this is the man who has Mark Tcaciuc as a Facebook buddy and who in April tried to persuade the Moldovan liberals to accept communist rule following a fraudulent election.

What the EU's letter to "Jurnal" shows is that George Scarlat's article was right on the button. Why the EU allows itself to continue to be represented in Moldova by somebody who is so obviously in the pocket of the Russians and the Communists is beyond me. The Commission and Parliament should address this as a matter of urgency. They should also respond firmly to Javier Solana's attempts to muzzle the Moldovan press.

1 comment:

  1. UN audit report: Page 114 of http://www.ziua.ro/pics/2007/07/11/1184089930.pdf (warning, this is a very large document).