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Russia12 March 2008

Moldovan journalist to complain to European Court of Human Rights about being refused entry

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Moldovan journalist Natalia Morar has decided to complain to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg after being prevented from entering Russia for the second time on 27 February. Morar was based in Moscow until she was denied entry for the first time on her return from a trip abroad on 16 December.

“We support this initiative by Morar and we hope the European Court of Human Rights will order the Russian authorities to explain their grounds for not letting her into the country,” the press freedom organisation said. “Morar works for an independent Russian newspaper and she just wants to continue doing her job.”

When Morar was again denied entry on arriving in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport with her Russian husband on a flight from the Moldovan capital of Chisinau on 27 February, she spent three days in the airport’s transit area before returning to Moldova.

Morar told Reporters Without Borders: “Several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights have been violated. A family cannot be separated, which is what has happened to me. Furthermore, during those three days in Domodedovo airport, they denied my basic rights by not giving me water and food. And they have not notified me of the reasons for this second refusal.”

Since Morar’s return to Chisinau, her mother has received two anonymous calls in the middle of the night. “Your daughter is taking too many liberties, this will finish badly,” the first caller said. “You know, they are going to get rid of your daughter,” the second caller said, a few days later.

“This is a classical tactic of psychological pressure on my mother,” Morar said. “She felt ill and emergency services had to be called.” Morar reported the threatening phone calls to the police, who promised to find out who was making them.

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