The European Association of Judges and Public Prosecutors for Democracy and Fundamental Rights (Magistrats europйens pour la dйmocratie et les Libertйs - MEDEL -)
azi.md, 1 May 2009, 17:21

MEDEL (Belgium)
April 16, 2009

A. In view of the most recent political evolutions in Republic of Moldova and the confrontation between protesters and Moldovan authorities starting the day after the national elections of 5th April 2009, as a result of popular dissatisfaction with the way the elections were organized and the official publication of electoral results,

B. Concerned by the big number of Moldovan citizens arrested in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections (approximately 200 according to the official sources, some 800 according to indications from opposition parties and civic organisations), as well as by the unclear circumstances under which two young Moldovans died after participating in the protests, showing heavy injuries on their bodies,

C. Taking note of the deepest concern of the United Nations Organization report on the treatment applied by the Moldovan police to the arrested citizens, as well as the report by the Special UNO Rapporteur on Torture et al., of 18th March 2009, concluding on a widespread ill-treatment during the initial period of police custody and on serious witnesses of torture in Moldovan police stations,

D. Considering the amendments to the electoral law passed in time to minimize the chances of the opposition parties and to insure the victory of the ruling communist party at the national elections of 5th April 2009 and keeping in mind the Joint Opinion on the Election Code of Moldova of 10th April 2008, adopted by the Venice Commission at its 76th Plenary Session and OSCE/ODIHR (Venice, 17-18 October 2008),

E. Stressing notably, a. that some of the regulations of the Moldovan electoral law of April 2008, such as the restriction of the right to stand and vote of Moldovans with multiple citizenship represent a setback and violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and Article 3 of the Protocol Number 1 to the Convention, b. that the regulation concerning the electoral campaign and the media "creates a disproportionate advantage to the incumbents in the media, confirmed by election observation reports", and c. that combining the prohibition of pre-electoral alliances for political parties and increasing the threshold for parliamentary representation from 4 p.c. to 6 p.c. "further increased the amount of lost votes in parliamentary elections".

F. Underlining the obvious connection of these electoral law amendments with the dissatisfaction of many Moldovan citizens seeing themselves deprived of an effective opportunity for alternative voting, essential element of any parliamentary democracy.

G. Being aware of article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of June 1987, the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture of 22nd June 2006, the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 26th November 1987, all being signed and ratified by the Republic of Moldova,

1. Condemns arbitrary and violent repression initiated by Moldovan authorities against their own citizens after the election results were published;

2. Insists with the Moldovan authorities to guarantee those protesting against the election results the respect of fundamental human rights, including the right to physical and psychological integrity, the right to freedom of expression, the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one's liberty and the right not to be submitted to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment;

3. Calls upon the Moldovan authorities to stop violence and cruel treatment of those detained in relation with the protests; these persons should be awarded their full rights under national and international law, notably access to legal advice;

4. Dismisses the amnesty issued by President VORONIN as long as this offer has not received the necessary formal endorsement by the Moldovan parliament;

5. Urges the Moldovan authorities to initiate a judicial investigation for identifying those responsible for inhuman or cruel treatment of the arrested protesters;

6. Stresses that fundamental democratic values and pluralism are the main pillars of the European societies, which shall not be put at jeopardy and shall remain at the core of any Moldovan government's initiatives;

7. Suggests that international election observation missions raise on beforehand the awareness of the legal frameworks of electoral campaigns, laws and procedures and verify whether the current legal provisions are appropriate to conduct a genuinely democratic electoral process, even if the formal procedures seem to be respected, so as to avoid an effective breach of many international standards and commitments.

Source: The Moldova Foundation's Weekly News Bulletin on Moldova
Friday, May 1, 2009 -- Vol. 5, Issue 22