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Moldovan Journalists Protest

28 July 2004 -- Some 100 journalists from Moldova's national broadcaster today demanded the dismissal of the company's directors.

The journalists accuse the directors of laying off reporters and cameramen who had called for greater press freedoms.

The government is reducing direct state control of the national broadcaster, Teleradio Moldova, and making other changes. In the process, Teleradio Moldova has laid off dozens of reporters and cameramen.

Some of those let go called for more press freedoms, and in a statement released today, journalists still working at the broadcaster said "Moldova is about to remain with no free media."

The statement claimed that managers were using the reorganization of the broadcaster as an excuse to hunt down journalists protesting against "abusive control by authorities."

The Moldovan government recently shut down a television station and a radio station in a move that critics said was politically motivated.