Moldova: 10th anniversary of post-election police brutality marks decade of injustice and impunity

Marking ten years since the brutal crackdown on post-election protests in the Moldovan capital Chisinau on 6 to 8 April 2009 during which hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested and ill-treated in custody, resulting in at least one death, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said:

“Over the last decade, the Moldovan authorities have manifestly failed to deliver justice to hundreds of peaceful protesters, including teenagers, who became victims of arbitrary arrest and police brutality.”

Over the last decade, the Moldovan authorities have manifestly failed to deliver justice to hundreds of peaceful protesters, including teenagers, who became victims of arbitrary arrest and police brutality
Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

As Amnesty International details in the briefing Justice not Attained, Future not Ensured, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who were unlawfully arrested, humiliated and beaten by police in Chisinau are still waiting for justice today.

“The authorities’ failure to hold to account all those believed to be responsible is a travesty,” said Marie Struthers.

“While around thirty police officers have been prosecuted and some of them convicted in connection with the April 2009 events, most if not all were junior officers. Senior commanding police officers, politicians or state officials allegedly responsible for taking operational and political decisions at the time have not been prosecuted.”

“Moldova has made some progress addressing its human rights record in the last few years. Laws have been changed and important steps to address torture have been taken. But we urge the government to do more to tackle ill-treatment and the serious structural issues that impact human rights. The hundreds of victims of the 2009 protest crackdown who have not yet received adequate reparation have the right to justice now.”

Background

Protests against the disputed parliamentary election results lasted from 6 to 8 April 2009. In Chisinau, more than 15,000 people took part in demonstrations. Although the overwhelming majority of protesters assembled peacefully and a minority acted violently, police arbitrarily arrested at least 600 people, among them minors. Those arrested spent hours, sometimes days, in police custody and many were subjected to ill-treatment including beatings. At least one person died as a result of police beatings.