Appeal from Moldovan political prisoner to protest leaders

Political prisoner Petrenko appeals from jail to Civic Forum

January 29: OMEGA News Agency received a statement from imprisoned leader of Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) Grigory Petrenko to the participants of the Civic Forum, calling on the whole society “to join forces against [oligarch Vlad] Plahotniuc’s mafia.”

“Only by joining forces against the criminal regime and Plahotniuc’s mafia, who’ve usurped the power of the state, can we bring about the change that all of Moldovan society is waiting for, only then is it possible to restore the proper functioning of democratic institutions in our country,” the statement says.

Red Bloc leader Grigory Petrenko led into court by masked gunmen.
“I believe that the actual efforts at joint protest by the diametrically-opposed opposition against the common evil, in the name of the liberation of the country, is undoubtedly the most important result of our common struggle at this stage of protest actions! However the regime may try to denigrate protesters, discredit their legitimate demands, no matter how it tries to manipulate public opinion with so-called hired experts, bloggers and other trolls, it fails to gain popular support.

“A show of force, repression, pressure on the opposition — this is actually a manifestation of the impotence, weakness and inconsistency of Plahotniuc. All regimes of this kind come to the same end! And how fast the house of cards crumbles depends on our joint, decisive action,” says Petrenko.

“The govenrment crossed the line. They allowed themselves to ignore the many months of mass protests and demands. They behaved arrogantly and cynically, merely mimicking a willingness to negotiate, while showing the country that they put their personal and corporate interests above the people’s opinions.

“Under these conditions, direct dialogue with the regime will be ineffective. It is necessary to resist coercion by the authorities to engage in negotiations. I am convinced that the only possible subject of negotiation should be the timing of early parliamentary elections, and measures to prepare the conditions for these elections to be free and fair. These kinds of negotiations can be addressed through the mediation of the Council of Europe. The result of this process should be the development and adoption of a ‘roadmap’ for the preparation of conditions for holding free and fair early parliamentary elections as soon as possible.”

According to Petrenko, this “road map” should spell out conditions for the election of all bodies responsible for the conduct of democratic elections.

“All of the above, including the involvement of the Council of Europe, should in no way affect the dynamics of protest actions. We should not surrender any demand against the current government, nor stop or reduce the pressure on the Plahotniuc regime.

“Not one step back!

“Jos Plahotniuc!”

Below is a copy of the statement from political prisoner Grigory Petrenko to the participants of the Civic Forum held in Chisinau:


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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