Publication Date: March 2016
Publisher: Freedom House
Research and Editorial Team: Freedom House

Access to information and media independence and pluralism remain critical media freedom issues in the Republic of Moldova. 

The report focuses on the obstacles hindering Moldova's compliance with international obligations and national legislation in the fields of access to information and media independence. It first examines the existing legal framework, containing national and international legislation protecting freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the Republic. In the fourth and fifth parts, issues concerning access to information and media independence and pluralism are identified, as these are key concerns hindering Moldova’s compliance with its related human rights commitments.

The main issues pointed are the difficult and biased access to information. Lack of compliance by state bodies, conflicting provisions and obstructions by public officials are pointed out in the report as major obstacles for the proper guarantee of the right to access information. Restrictions applied to media representatives and monetary fees to access public interest data worsen the situation.

Media independence and pluralism are seriously compromised in Moldova, the report notes, first of all because the existing legal provisions do not effectively regulate concentration of media ownership, and private media remain financially – and editorially – dependent on affiliated businesses and political groups.

Despite repeated calls for media legislation reform, the government of Moldova has not made significant efforts to improve access to information and ensure media diversity. The recommendations to improve this scenario include the improvement of the current legislation on access to information, the creation of relevant legislation to limit ownership concentration and abandoning certain bureaucratic measures which hinder access to information.

This report is submitted by Freedom House to the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to be considered for inclusion in the summary of stakeholder submissions for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Moldova, scheduled to take place in November 2016.

Tags: Moldova Access to information Media ownership Media pluralism

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