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Russian speakers have access to information of public interest

In the process of monitoring the implementation of the decisions issued by the Council, it was found that the web pages of some state bodies have become accessible to representatives of linguistic minorities, in this case – Russian speaking.

The changes are the result of the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Council in 2018. Then, a journalist, who works on the articles for the news portal, applied to the Council, citing the fact that the authorities do not provide access to information for Russian speaking persons, as there is no Russian version on the web pages of the institutions. The complainant argued that the activity is imposed in precise, clear language and specialized terminology, which could often be used only in the original language or through a translation provided by the issuing authority.

Considering the circumstances of case 36/18, where the Chisinau City Hall was implicated, as well as Case 37/18, involving the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the Council noted discrimination on the basis of language in access to information and recommended institutions to take the necessary actions to ensure that information on the website could be accessible for Russian speaking persons.

The Council notes that the inability to provide a version of the sites in the language of international communication leads to restricted access of linguistic minorities to official information posted on web pages. The Council also recalls the regulation of the right of national minorities to address state institutions in Romanian and Russian and to receive a reply in the respective language.

In a statement published due to the launch of the Russian version of the site, the Parliament mentions that no additional costs were incurred for the implementation of this recommendation. The Council, therefore, appeals to the authorities to make the efforts possible to ensure equal access to information for Russian speaking minorities.