Moldova Human Rights

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.

Freedom of assembly

Despite the progressive Law on Assemblies which was passed in 2008, police and local authorities continued to unduly restrict the right to freedom of peaceful assembly by banning demonstrations, imposing limitations and detaining peaceful protesters.

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.

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.

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