Moldovan court prosecutes website over black list
Reposted from Moldova.org: http://social.moldova.org/news/moldovan-court-prosecutes-website-over-black-list-233769-eng.html
A Court in Moldova has ruled that a website has violated the right to private life and abetted hatred after it published a “black list” of public figures who allegedly promote homosexuality.
A year ago, on his blog, Vitalie Marian labeled some public individuals working in press, governmental bodies or civil activists as promoters of homosexual behavior. The post was later published by portal “Moldova Noastra” (“Our Moldova”), adding new names to the list.
The court ruled that the manager of the website “Moldova Noastra” who published the extended “black list” should remove the controversial list of names and pay 5,000 Lei ($400) in compensation to each complainant. Although the list is longer, only six persons complained to the court. The tribunal claimed that the list violated the right to private life and discriminated based on sexual orientation.
Freelance journalist Denis Cenusa is one of the persons to be put on the list by “Moldova Noastra” website. He sued the website over the list together with five other persons.
"I welcome the decision of the court by which this particular black list will be erased and prohibited from spreading in the future,” Denis Cenusa told MOLDOVA.ORG.
The young man praises the court’s decision saying that “it creates a positive legal precedent against the hatred based on the discrimination of the sexual minorities.”
Denis believes that such court rulings should exist in any country that claims to be protecting human rights.
“This decision has a double effect on public opinion,” Denis explains. “From one side it fights against discriminatory practices as such. Secondly, it supports a change of the community's mentality in favor of promoting human rights by the people whose voice can have substantial impact over public opinion. Anyway, this is a point of departure and the civil society leaders should invest time in efforts to bring our society closer to the European model of democracy that offers and guarantees equal rights to all citizens.”
Natalia Ghilascu is another person on the controversial “black list.” The journalist explained for MOLDOVA.ORG that she is in favor of freedom of expression, but not in the way blogger Vitalie Marian did so.
“Although the homosexuals are viewed as the most sinful members of the community, such lists are intended to intimidate people who are promoting equal rights,” pointed out Natalia Ghilascu.
According to Natalia, it would had been better to come up with a list of institutions that discriminate against the disabled persons, elderly, as well as homosexuals when it comes to access the labor market.
“The court’s ruling makes me hopeful that the justice system in Moldova can re-gain the trust of the people who have their rights violated,” Natalia Ghilascu said.
Marian Vitalie, the initiator of the controversial list said that he abstains from making any comments at the moment. The administration of the “Moldova Noastra” website which was prosecuted and has to pay the penalty could not be reached for statements yet.
In May 2012, the Moldovan Parliament voted on the Law ensuring Equality, a bill intended to protect the under-privileged groups in Moldova, including sexual minorities. The law, which was severely criticized by the civil society, will come into force as of January 1, 2013.