Moldova: Thousands march on prison demanding ‘Free Petrenko Group!’

January 22: A column of several thousand protesters picketed against the regime of [oligarch Vlad] Plahotniuc outside Detention Center No. 13 in Chisinau, where the Petrenko Group political prisoners are jailed.

When they reached the prison building, protesters chanted “Freedom for political prisoners!”, “Petrenko Petrenko!”, and “Plahotniuc, do not forget, the prison is your house!”

DA Platform leader Andrei Nastase told the participants that a few days ago the Civic Forum, which brings together major NGOs and representatives of civil society, as well as political parties, adopted a resolution which demands the “unconditional release of political prisoners, including Petrenko.”

The column of protesters started out at 11:00 from the central square to ​​the Public Television building, then to the Ministry of Defense, and after stopping at the prison moved in the direction of the Ministry of Justice.

The protesters are demanding early parliamentary elections, and to put oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc on trial.

The protests in the Moldovan capital erupted with renewed vigor Wednesday after the parliamentary majority controlled by Plahotniuc approved a government led by his close ally, Pavel Filip. Also, on Wednesday around midnight, under the protection of columns of police and hidden from the media, the government was sworn in. We already know that President Timofti was blackmailed with criminal cases against his children to secure immediate approval of Filip’s government.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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