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Thousands protest against media censorship outside Chisinau public TV building

January 22, 17:41 UTC+3 CHISINAU
According to Moldova’s Interior Ministry, several thousand people are taking part in the protests
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© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

CHISINAU, January 22 /TASS/. Thousands of demonstrators protesting against media censorship have surrounded Moldova’s public television building in Chisinau. Supporters from the Party of Socialists of Moldova; Our Party of Renato Usatii and Civil Platform DA (Dignity and Truth) marched through the city blocking and paralyzing traffic on several central streets. Reinforced police patrols are protecting the TV building. According to Moldova’s Interior Ministry, several thousand people are taking part in the protests. The protesters themselves claim that more than 20,000 people have taken to the streets.

Moldova’s opposition leaders — Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists; Renato Usatii, the Our Party leader; and Andrei Nastase, the head of Civil Platform DA, are holding negotiations with the TV centre’s director Mircea Surdu.

So far the demonstrations have been peaceful. The protesters are demanding the resignation of the government of Pavel Filip and the dissolution of parliament.

"We presented an ultimatum to the authorities — to dissolve the government which was approved illegitimately; disband parliament and organize early elections. That will help ending the deadlock in which the country had found itself after a six-year rule of the corrupt pro-European coalition," Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists, told TASS. He said that the Socialists had challenged the government’s appointment in the Constitutional Court.

Renato Usatii, the Our Party leader, told journalists he was outraged by how the government was suppressing freedom of press in Moldova. "The Moldovan media outlets, both private and state-run, are controlled by the oligarchs and are lying through their teeth on the tip from the United States and the European Union which are supporting the ruling authorities in Moldova," Usatii stressed.

"The Moldovan authorities are using every possible way to block the information about the situation in the country and are banning journalists from entering the country," Usatii said adding that six Russian journalists had been denied entrance to Moldova over the past 2 days. The journalists wanted to cover the street protests in Chisinau. They represented TASS, VGTRK, LifeNews, REN-TV and other media outlets.

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