Annual Report: Moldova 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Moldova 2010

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Head of state Mihai Ghimpu (replaced Vladimir Voronin in September)
Head of government Vladimir Filat (replaced Zinaida Greceanîi in September)
Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes
Population 3.6 million
Life expectancy 68.3 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f)26/21 per 1,000
Adult literacy 99.2 per cent

Allegations of torture and ill-treatment remained widespread and the perpetrators continued to enjoy impunity. Police failed to uphold and protect the right to freedom of assembly. Human rights defenders faced harassment as a result of their activities.

Background

Moldova's ruling Communist Party won the parliamentary elections on 5 April for the third time running, amidst widespread claims of electoral fraud. Peaceful protests in the capital, Chi?in?u, began on 6 April. They became violent on 7 April and resulted in the storming of the presidential and parliamentary buildings. A re-run of the elections was held on 29 July which resulted in a majority for the opposition parties.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Following the demonstrations in Chi?in?u, hundreds of people, including minors, were rounded up and detained by police. International and local NGOs collected testimonies from over 100 detainees, their families and lawyers, claiming that they had been subjected to torture or other ill-treatment. The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights reported that during his visit to detention centres following the events in April, the majority of people interviewed by his delegation alleged ill-treatment by police officers.

  • Oxana Radu was among a group of 36 young people who had come from Cahul in the south of the country in two minibuses to witness the events. They were stopped as they were leaving Chi?in?u after midnight on 8 April, and then escorted to the General Police Commissariat. Oxana Radu, her sister and one other woman were taken directly into the police station. She told Amnesty International that she was led into a room where there was a female and a male police officer. She was forced to strip naked. The male police officer said: "You're cold, we will warm you up." She stated that she was forced to perform squats while naked and was threatened and sworn at as she did so. She was then taken to a cell with four other women and her younger sister. They were reportedly left for two days without food or water, access to a lawyer or the possibility of contacting their families. Oxana Radu was accused of having shouted at a policeman and sentenced to five days' administrative detention by a judge in the police station. She and two other women were taken to the police station in Drochia in the north of the country to serve their sentences. She was released at 2 am on 14 April.

Impunity

A culture of impunity among police officers continued, encouraged by the low rate of prosecutions for acts of torture and other illtreatment, the failure to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations and the lack of adequate punishment for violations.