Moldovan regime’s revenge: Asthmatic political prisoner transferred to unheated prison basement

Political prisoner Pavel Grigorchuk, who protested against the oligarchic regime together with Grigory Petrenko, was suddenly transferred on New Year’s Eve from cell No. 129 in Penitenitary No. 13 to the unheated basement.

Attorney Ana Ursachi declared to the MOLDNEWS agency that the transfer was made “in secret, suddenly and without explanation.”

Political prisoner Pavel Grigorchuk (in white shirt).
“Pavel Grigorchuk was transferred to an unventilated basement cell where there are no minimum conditions, cold and damp, and full of insects. All this is absolutely incompatible with asthma, which Pavel Grigorchuk suffers from, and this is known to the administration of the penitentiary,” said Ana Ursachi.

At the same time, she said that she knew nothing about the fate of another political prisoner — Alexander Roshko. “I learned that on the evening on December 30 the same transfer was made to one of the other political prisoners, Alexander Roshko, to a location I do not know yet,” said the lawyer.

“I am sure that these transfers are made against the background of my clients’ complaints about conditions of detention, as well as the findings of European officials who met with the political prisoners and objected to their conditions of detention,” said Ursachi.

The lawyer did not exclude the possibility that, due to the hostile dealings between herself and the head of Department of Prisons Alexander Pynzar (who is himself involved in a case where Ana Ursachi represents the interests of the victim), he could issue illegal orders that affect the political prisoners.

On Thursday, Dec. 31, the lawyer should meet with the political prisoners, as well as with the leadership of Penitentiary No. 13, to demand an explanation and transfer of political prisoner Pavel Grigorchuk to his former cell.

Recall that the actions at Penitentiary No 13 (a facility subordinate to the Prison Department, headed by Alexander Pynzar, a known agent of the Democratic Party controlled by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc) followed a few days after the visit of a high-ranking European official — Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Stefen Schennach.

Note that after a visit to the penitentiary and meeting with the Petrenko Group political prisoners, the European official said he hoped that as a result of his visit, their conditions would be improved, and the report itself would not be considered as a punishment, but as a preventive measure.

At the same time, according to the European official, “preventive arrest should be considered as a last resort, in the absence of alternatives. The decision on the extension of preventive arrest cannot in any case be used as a punishment to silence any criticism,” says the declaration of Stefen Schennach, published on the official website of PACE after his visit to Moldova.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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