In an interview with a Pan.md journalist, civil society activist Pavel Grigorchuk, arrested on September 6 during a protest at the Prosecutor General’s Office, said that they brought iron chains with them “as a theatrical prop, to improvise a scene, to show that all Moldovan citizens live in a country usurped by clans of oligarchs.”
“While thousands of protesters gathered in the central square, and we with several dozen citizens angered by corruption and legal arbitrariness in Moldova, decided that in addition to setting up a tent camp at the Prosecutor General’s Office, we should organize a visual improvisation. That is, we were planning to chain ourselves outside the entrance to the Prosecutor General’s Office and vividly show that all Moldovan citizens are linked by one chain — a chain of bondage, and live in a country where power is usurped by political clans and oligarchs,” said Pavel Grigorchuk, in a telephone interview with Panorama newspaper.
He said that “the presentation of the chains which were found in my backpack as another proof of our extremism is nonsense and just another example of the sick imagination of the person who gave the command for our arrest.”
“Our protest was peaceful. We did not intend to capture the building. A scuffle with the police occurred at the threshold of the Prosecutor General Office because the Ministry of Interior agents started to push us roughly off the stairs which we were using as a makeshift stage. Our picket was filmed by dozens of TV cameras. We did not attack the police. On the contrary, we have irrefutable evidence that police officers beat up my friend Mikhail Amerberg and opposition party leader, ex-deputy Grigory Petrenko,” said Pavel Grigorchuk.
Pavel Grigorchuk was detained by police on September 6, along with seven supporters of the opposition, extra-parliamentary party “Our Home is Moldova” (“Red Bloc”), headed by former member of Parliament and honorary member of PACE, Grigory Petrenko. After their arrest, police conducted searches of the homes of many of the “Petrenko Group,” as well as the party office. Prosecutors accuse the arrested opposition leaders of organizing mass disorder, while many Moldovan lawyers believe that the arrest is an unjustifiable punishment against the opposition.
Translated by Greg Butterfield