Laureate 2006: Alina Anghel

Alina Anghel
Photo: Olaf Wunder

Alina Anghel
had to suffer physical violence as a consequence for relentlessly revealing corruption and mismanagement of the governing Moldavian elite around President Woronin.

Since 1997 Alina Anghel has been working as a journalist in Moldavia. First, she was working for the daily Flux in the policy department, then for the weekly Timpul. Her articles (e.g. "Luxury in a land of poverty") from 2004 relentlessly describe the machinations of corrupt elites and effects of mismanagement on the daily life of the citizens. A concrete case was the trading with Skoda cars. 42 business cars were delivered to the Communist government without any official order.

Alina Anghel’s corruption stories led to a two million Dollar action for damages by the government against Timpul which had to close subsequently. An offer of the ruling powers to discontinue the action in exchange for a public apology for Anghel’s reporting, had beed refused by the editors of the paper previously. The investigative journalist had to physically experience the governmental pressure on dissidents: After Alina Anghel had been threatened by telephone calls for several months, she was knocked down close to her home in June 2004, as Martina Bäurle, director of the Hamburg Foundation for the Politically Persecuted confirms. The assault took place one day before the hearing in the action for damages against Timpul. Although possible suspects were arrested, the police filed the incident away as raid, despite the short time between the raid and the hearing, which might indicate a relationship between the incidents. Alina Anghel still suffers from the wounds on her body, as Rubine Möhring, director of Reporters Without Borders in Austria reports. There is no freedom of press in Moldavia. Most newspapers are financially dependent on Woronin’s Communist regime. Inconvenient journalists are banned with information embargos by the authorities and solidly impeded in their work. Shortly after the closure of Timpul, the editors published the new newspaper Timpul de dimineata (Morning Post). For the time being, Anghel works as deputy editor in chief of this newspaper.

In ealry 2005, Alina Anghel was awarded the "Press Freedom Prize" by Reporters Without Borders. Since May 2005 she has been a guest of the Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted, which together with the Luise Rinser Foundation enables Alina Anghel to live in Germany for a while. Her stay was supposed to end in October, but there was a wave of arrests in Moldavia right before her planned return so that her stay was prolonged until mid December. After her return she wants to continue to work as a journalist.