Alina Radu – Moldavia

Linked with International Association for Women in Radio and Television IAWRT, and with Statement made by IAWRT.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Human life and freedom are the most valuable things in the world”.

She says also: “Corruption, bad economic conditions, poverty are the main causes for the rise in trafficking in human beings and organs in the Republic of Moldova. I am just trying to find out and to tell what is happening to people who have become victims of human trafficking. They are young girls, babies, orphans and other poor people without possibilities for a secure life and without good opportunities” … and: “However, traffickers of kidneys have not been punished, so our attention is still on the topic”.

Alina Radu - Moldavia rogne redim 80p.jpg

Alina Radu – Moldavia

She works for the International Association for Women in Radio and Television IAWRT, for the Moldovan Association of Independent TV Journalists (named on IFEX), and for the Network of Investigative Reporters from South Eastern Europe.

Alina Radu is an award-winning investigative journalist and the director of the independent investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda (The Guard newspaper). Through her research and reporting, she has been instrumental in bringing to light trafficking in human beings and organs, which is becoming a major problem in the Republic of Moldova.

She has also assisted women victims of trafficking and pays great attention to the rights of women and children in her reports. She has gathered documentation on trafficking for the Council of Europe.

Alina Radu was born in a Moldovan village and studied at the faculty of Journalism at Moldova University, graduating in 1989. From 1997 on, she has participated in courses organized by international media training associations in Bulgaria, USA, Albania, Greece, Slovakia, Finland, and Bosnia (1997-2004).

She began her career working with the Moldova Estate Television. After the Republic of Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991, she worked for the first independent Moldovan media. In recent years, together with a few women journalists from Moldova, she established the independent investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda (The Guard Newspaper).

“Corruption, bad economic conditions, poverty are the main causes for the rise in trafficking in human beings and organs in the Republic of Moldova”, she says. In spite of threats from some traffickers who demand that she stop her investigations, Alina Radu forges ahead. “I am just trying to find out and to tell what is happening to people who have become victims of human trafficking. They are young girls, babies, orphans and other poor people without possibilities for a secure life and without good opportunities”.

She was the first person to investigate organ trafficking in Moldova. Despite the fact that Moldovan police and other authorities were saying that there are no victims of kidney trafficking, she found, from village to village, some 40 people who had been forced to sell or donate their organs.

There were young men and women, some of them ill and very poor, without work and without hope, forced to give an organ for a small amount of money. She spread the information, and in a short time the Council of Europe made a report on organ trafficking in Europe, based on the Moldovan cases and Alina’s investigations.

Just after that, Moldovan authorities agreed that organ trafficking is an important issue for this country, and a plan of activities was established to stop criminal networks from bring people into this horrible market. “However, traffickers of kidneys have not been punished, so our attention is still on the topic”, says Alina.

For her many investigations on trafficking in women, Alina not only did research in her own country, one of the main Balkan sources of trafficked girls, but also went to Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Serbia to look for Moldovan victims. She investigated disappeared girls and women abused by peacekeeping soldiers and policemen, as well as networks of traffickers, reporting who they are and how they work, publishing her findings in articles and documentaries. Her reports on children’s and women’s issues have appeared in the Moldovan, French, English, German, USA, Serbian and Swedish media.

Alina also investigated baby selling and illegal adoptions. Because she criticized the Government’s permissive policies in this arena, legal actions were taken against her. “There are double obstacles in our work: Government pressure and criminals’ threats. But we usually get great assistance from our NGOs, international organizations and our citizens”, Alina says.

Her work has been recognized by international and national organizations. She won important prizes for investigations on trafficking and women’s issues, as well as for a big investigation on Moldovan pilots who disappeared in Africa. Her research helped their wives and children to look for their relatives and stand up for their rights.

Among those awards:

  • prize for the documentary ‘Waiting’, TV Festival, Kosice, Slovakia (1996);
  • prize for the documentary ‘Doctor AIDS Accuses’, TV Festival, Kosice, Slovakia (1997);
  • grand prix for the documentary ‘Gone with the Wind’, TV Festival, Kosice Slovakia (1998);
  • Prize for the best Social Issues Journalist, offered by the United Nations Development Program, Moldova (1999);
  • prize for the best documentary on human rights, Festival Televest, Romania (2000);
  • prize for the investigation of trafficking in women, awarded by the ‘10 plus’ Club of woman journalists from Moldova (2002);
  • prize for the best investigation on trafficking in women, awarded by the Independent Journalism Center, Moldova (2003).

Alina Radu is a staunch upholder of independence, freedom of speech and a free press. “After the coming of the Communists to the Government, we lost our freedoms. Freedom of speech and mass media are limited”, says Alina. This does not stop her from speaking out.

She is the vice president of the Association of Independent TV Journalists from Moldova; a member of the International Association of Women in Radio and TV (IAWRT); vice president of the United Nations Journalists Club of Moldova; and a member of Network of Investigative Reporters from South Eastern Europe. She also was member of the Jury for the International Festival for Independent TV, Kosice and for the 2003 TV Festival organized by IAWRT, Accra, Ghana.

She remains very involved in media and women’s project activities. In The Guard Newspaper, which she now heads in Moldova, Alina promotes initiatives to help migrants and victims of trafficking. There is a regular page for cases and advice for young people going abroad, plus a project which offers free information on employment for every Moldovan citizen.

“Unemployment is the worst phenomenon. It is the cause of migration of young people who do not know where they are going. Traffickers make big profits by offering them forged visas and passports. We started to do our little bit to investigate and discover traffickers and to offer people the advice and information they need”, Alina says.

Because Transnistria, a part of Moldova, has been for 13 years under the control of separatists, and because in that territory there are political prisoners, Alina started a big campaign to support the wives and families of those imprisoned. The campaign also asked that the decision of the European Court for Human Rights be respected; i.e. that Transnistrian political prisoners, detained illegally for 13 years, be released.

Moldovan and foreign media cited The Guard Newspaper effort as the most powerful campaign for supporting rights of families of political prisoners. “Human and children’s rights are the same all around the globe. Journalists can go beyond simply reporting to help society understand how to help each other by our own example”, Alina says.

She gives continuous help to Transnistrian children, to children and women in jails, to victims of trafficking, and to people desparately looking for a a way make a living in Moldova. (1000PeaceWomen).

Disambiguate: there are several ‘Alina Radu’ in the internet: even an Alina Radu who is lawer in Bucarest. It seems to me that no one of all fits with our personality we present here. Sorry.

links:

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN IN RADIO AND TELEVISION, named on:

UN.org/… ;

BFI;

TV-jobs.com.

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