Annual Report: Moldova 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Moldova 2010

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  • On 29 January, Anatol Matasaru was detained outside the offices of the Prosecutor General in Chi?in?u, as he held a one-man protest dressed in a pig suit and using audio equipment to play the sound of a pig squealing. He was protesting the failure of the Prosecutor General to open an investigation following his complaint about police ill-treatment in 2006. As part of the protest, he displayed images showing pigs in different contexts, with text criticizing inaction by prosecutors. Police arrived within minutes of the beginning of the protest and detained Anatol Matasaru for approximately five hours. He was charged with failing to inform the mayor's office about the protest (although this was not a requirement of the Law on Assemblies), failing to abide by the orders of the police, resisting arrest, and insulting public officials. Anatol Matasaru alleged that he was punched by a police officer while in detention. The charges were dropped by Rî?cani district court in Chi?in?u in February.
  • On 3 February, police reportedly failed to protect peaceful demonstrators who were attacked by a group of masked men. The demonstration was organized by Amnesty International Moldova and local human rights organizations Hyde Park, Promo Lex, the Resource Centre for Human Rights and the Institute for Human Rights. They were protesting against previous failures by the police to uphold the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression, and to call on the Prosecutor General's office to investigate these failures. Shortly after gathering in front of the Prosecutor General's office in central Chi?in?u, the demonstrators were attacked by approximately 10 men, some wearing masks, who sprayed paint at them, punched and hit them. Igor Grosu, the Chair of Amnesty International Moldova, was hit from behind and had to be treated in hospital for a head injury requiring several stitches. A member of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights was punched in the face. The demonstrators called the police immediately, but reported that no officers came to their aid. After the participants had successfully chased off the attackers the police again refused to come and collect the evidence which remained of the attack, such as masks and spray-paint cans.

Human rights defenders

In April, at least seven NGOs involved in monitoring human rights violations following the events in Chi?in?u received letters from the Ministry of Justice. The letters asked each organization to explain its position towards the riots, as well as any measures taken by the organization to prevent and stop the violence and to enforce the Law on Assemblies. These seven and another four organizations also received subpoenas from their local tax inspectorates, dated 24 April, asking them to present financial documents for 2008 and 2009, and identify their sources of income and expenditure by 28 April. On 28 April, the office of Amnesty International in Chi?in?u was visited by representatives from the local tax inspectorate, who requested that the organization provide a list of paying members and other documents. In a letter to Amnesty International the Prosecutor General's office replied that the checks had been routine and that there was "no causal relationship to the events of 7 April."

International justice

By the end of 2009, Moldova had still not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, despite a decision by the Constitutional Court in 2007 that Moldova could ratify the Rome Statute without requiring a change in the Constitution.

Amnesty International visits/reports

Amnesty International delegates visited in April and July

Moldova: Memorandum – Amnesty International's concerns relating to policing during and after the events of 7 April 2009 in Chi?in?u (17 April 2009)
Police torture and other ill-treatment: it's still "just normal" in Moldova (30 November 2009)