Moldova: European Parliament to take up case of Petrenko Group political prisoners

November 19: At a meeting scheduled for next week, the European Parliament will discuss the theft in the banking sector of Moldova, as well as the demand for the immediate release of the Petrenko Group political prisoners.

This was reported in a press release of the European United Left / Left-Green North faction in the European Parliament, received by OMEGA news agency.

Red Bloc leader Grigory Petrenko after his arrest.
As indicated in the document, faction chairperson Gabrielle Zimmer acted to put these items on the agenda of the European Parliament.

“We have requested this debate because we are seriously concerned about recent events in Moldova, where 1 billion euros were removed from the banking system through offshore accounts. Unprecedented mass protests led to the resignation of the government. Parts of the former government have used the term ‘pro-European’ as a fig leaf for the domination of oligarchic leaders,” said the faction chair.

In addition, MEPs stressed their particular concern about the situation of political prisoners Grigory Petrenko and six other activists arrested during mass protest rallies September 6 in Chisinau.

“This is the first time in the modern history of independent Moldova that the leader of an opposition party was arrested,” the statement says.

The MEPs, who demanded an amendment of the meeting’s agenda, stated that the “accusations against the Petrenko group, as well as the extension of their arrest to December 20, 2015, are contrary to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as specified in the EU-Moldova Association Agreement. We therefore call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Moldova.”

“I call upon the Moldovan authorities to strictly observe the obligations of the Republic of Moldova as a member state of the Council of Europe, and as a party to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR),” said Zimmer in her request for consideration of the situation in Moldova.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe sent a written statement to the Moldovan authorities, signed by 32 PACE deputies, demanding the immediate release of the political prisoners. The Moldovan authorities have ignored this demand and the demands of other Moldovan and foreign public figures, and recently it was reported that political prisoner Grigory Petrenko has been subject to the deliberate risk of contracting tuberculosis.


European Parliament delegation to visit political prisoner Grigory Petrenko

A delegation of MEPs will soon arrive in Moldova to visit in jail political prisoner and honorary member of PACE Grigory Petrenko, whose immediate release is demanded at the level of EU institutions. 

The initiative to visit the Moldovan political prisoner was presented by the fraction of the European United Left / Left-Green North (GUE / NGL), chaired by Gabrielle Zimmer.

The fraction decided to send a delegation to Moldova, headed by GUE / NGL representative Helmut Scholz.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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