Deterioration of the political situation and continuous violations of human rights
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||23 April 2002|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Deterioration of the political situation and continuous violations of human rights, 23 April 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/482c5c0028.html [accessed 20 November 2014]|
Appeal of the FIDH to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(April session 2002)
The FIDH, in a press release of 28 March 2002, expressed its concerns about the disappearance of M. Vlad Cubreacov, deputy vice-chairman of the temporarily suspended on January 2002, Christian Democratic Popular Party (CDPP) and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, who is reported missing since 21 March 2002. There is currently no information available about his whereabouts. This disappearance, occurring in a political context of repression of the opposition movement, seems to be related to the lift of the parliamentary immunity of V. Cubreacov as well as Iurie Rosca, chairman of the CDPP, which was suspended on 14 January 2002 after a decision of the Ministry of Justice, and Stefan Secareanu, vice-chairman, leading figures of the parliamentary opposition who contributed actively to the organisation of street protests against governmental policies. They are prosecuted by the General Prosecutor of Moldova for "organising anti-governmental demonstrations without permission" under the legal basis of the "Law on organisation and unfolding meetings". It must be noted that the Moldovan Parliament will soon consider whether to lift the immunity of another three members of the CDPP, Valentin Chilat, Viorel Prisacaru and Eugen Garla.
The FIDH and its affiliate in Moldova, the League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADOM) are also concerned by the arrest of M. Ivan Burgudji, head of Legal Department of People's Assembly of the autonomous region of Gagauzia. On 7 March 2002 M. I. Burgudji was beaten and arrested in his office by unidentified civilians carrying automatic guns. He was then detained in the Security Information Service's (SIS) isolator of preventive detention. He begun on the 3rd of April, a hunger strike protesting against his arbitrary arrest and the fallacious accusations of "hooliganism and abuse of power" brought against him. The Court of Chisinau rejected the petitions for his liberation on the grounds that the normal development of the investigation could be affected.
Freedom of opinion and expression
The governing party is trying to paralyse the democratic institutions. This repressive system is based on censorship exercised over the media, mainly the "Teleradio Moldova" State Company, the only national broadcast. Since 26 February 2002, the journalists have been on strike to defend the freedom of the press. It is the first time that the employees of a state mass-media institution have declared that their freedom of speech is violated and accused the Company of becoming the mouthpiece of the Communist party and the utensil of "brain washing and monopolisation of public opinion." It is worth mentioning that both the Union of Journalists of Moldova and the Committee of Press Solidarity, who expressed their support to the strikers, have received several threats for this action.
The freedom of expression is also threatened by several legal dispositions. The penal code adopted recently by the parliament provides severe restrictions. In particular it penalizes defamation and insult, calumnious advertising, civil disobedience, insulting a military servant. Furthermore, although the Constitutional court upheld the constitutionality of the article 7 of the civil code related to defamation this provision is still valid.
Lastly, the Bessarabian Orthodox Church is still not registered in spite of the decision of the European Court for Human Rights.
Freedom of peaceful assembly
The FIDH and the LADOM condemn the attempts of the government to prevent the massive demonstrations of students and citizens which have been regularly organised for the past few months at the central square of the capital. These manifestations begun on 9 January 2002 as negative public reaction to the imposition of the Russian as a second official language and other amendments in the educational system of the country. This movement turned to a large public opinion critical to the governmental policies and asking to proceed with the necessary social and economic reforms. On 31st March 2002, 80.000 people demanded the resignation of the Government.
It must be emphasized that many demonstrators have been illegally detained, harassed, and even tortured by the police forces after their arbitrary arrests. The government complained to the Court Supreme on the legality of the demonstrations. On 25 February 2002, the Court declared these streets protests as illegal and ordered their total interdiction in the central place of Chisinau. The Christian Democratic Popular Party introduced an appeal at the Great Chamber of the Highest Judicial Authority which, on 15 March 2002, retained the interdiction of the public demonstrations. These decisions are in contradiction with the Law N°560/13 dated on 21 July 1995 which guarantee the freedom of assembly.
Since 3rd April 2002, the Presidency and the building of the Parliament have been surrounded by military forces. According to the local Media reports, the Government brought in the capital military forces from other districts of the Republic of Moldova.
At the end, the FIDH is still concerned by the persistent practice of torture in particular in the provisional detention centers.
The FIDH asks the Parliamentary assembly to adopt a firm resolution:
- urging the Moldovan authorities to proceed to a full, thorough and independent investigation into the disappearance of M. V. Cubreacov, to find its whereabouts and to identify those responsible for this disappearance and bring them before a impartial and competent tribunal.
- urging the Moldovan authorities to release immediately M. I. Burgudji as his detention aims to sanction the freedom of expression. If there are any valid charges against him, then he should be brought before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times.
- calling the Moldovan authorities to guarantee in any circumstances the freedom of opinion, expression, religion, association, the right to a peaceful assembly, in conformity with the dispositions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Moldova.
- calling the Council of Europe to monitor closely, with the European Union and the OSCE, the human rights situation in the Republic of Moldova.