Media NGOs condemn aggressive behaviour of Party of Regions representative Alexandr Kalinin and call on all politicians to behave properly towards journalists

30 June 2021

Non-governmental media organisations condemn the aggressive behaviour of the President of the Party of Regions of Moldova, Alexandr Kalinin, towards journalist Lorena Bogza. On 28 June 2021, an inappropriate reaction of the election candidate was captured in the studio of PRO TV election debates. Specifically, in response to the fact that the moderator of the show did not give him questions in Russian, Alexandr Kalinin launched insults and insulting remarks against the journalist and the invited candidates, throwing a bottle of water at the panel of the TV station. The election contestant's microphone was switched off several times due to non-compliance with the conditions of the debates. The signatory organisations consider this inappropriate behaviour as unacceptable, especially for a candidate for the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. We remind all electoral contestants that the Regulation on the coverage of the electoral campaign stipulates that the moderators of electoral debate programmes are obliged to intervene, including by turning off the microphone, if the guests violate the provisions of the legislation in force or if they do not comply with the moderator's requests. It should be noted that the state guarantees the protection of journalists' honour, dignity and professional reputation and sanctions any form of intimidation of journalists. At the same time, we remind that damaging the property of media institutions is an offence punishable by law. We ask the President of the Party of Regions of Moldova, Alexandr Kalinin, to publicly apologise to the moderator Lorena Bogza and to adopt a decent language and behaviour. We call on all politicians to adopt appropriate conduct towards journalists and to refrain from showing any form of intolerance towards journalists and media institutions. We remind you that anyone who disagrees with the journalist's working methods or material can address the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova, which will examine the complaint and give an assessment of the professional conduct and/or quality of the journalist's work. Centre for Independent Journalism Association of Environmental and Environmental Tourism Journalists Media-Guard Association Electronic Press Association Independent Press Association "Acces-Info" Centre for Journalistic Investigations Press Freedom Committee RISE Moldova