OSCE Rep: Restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova breach international standards on media freedom

VIENNA, 13 July 2016 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said that media laws under consideration by the Parliament in Moldova run counter to international standards on media freedom.

On 7 July the Parliament adopted, in the first reading, three amendments to the Audio-visual Code of the Republic of Moldova. All three amendments aim to limit broadcasts in foreign languages or those originating from abroad.

“It is counterproductive to try to limit speech through excessively restrictive legislation,” Mijatović wrote in a letter yesterday to the Chairperson of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, Andrian Candu. “In my view it seems excessive and may be ineffective.”

The reasoning given for introducing the restrictive provisions banning broadcasts or rebroadcasts of certain content is that it originates from states that are neither members of the European Union, nor are parties to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

“I trust that the draft laws will be carefully reviewed by the members of Parliament before being adopted in the second reading, ensuring that the regulation does not pose undue limits on free expression and free flow of information,” Mijatović said.

The Representative also pointed to the recommendations of her Office’s non-paper “Propaganda and Freedom of the Media” published in 2015 (available at www.osce.org/fom/203926).