The political prisoners led by former deputy Grigory Petrenko were released from detention after more than five months in the penitentiary. The decision was made on Monday, February 22, at the Riscani sector court in Chisinau, Moldova.
According to the judges’ decision, made as a result of a request submitted by the parliamentary faction of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (MDBGS), the political prisoners were placed under house arrest.
The release of the political prisoners from preventive detention was made on the day when Valentina Lezcano and Ogmundur Jonasson, co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), arrived in Moldova in connection with the Petrenko case.
Former deputy, leader of the opposition party Red Bloc, and honorary member of PACE Grigory Petrenko and his comrades have been under arrest since September 6, 2015, following a peaceful protest in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office against the oligarchic regime.
Grigory Petrenko: Thanks to everyone who supported us
Today, February 22, at a regularly-scheduled hearing on the case of the political prisoners, the Riscani Sector Court changed the measure of restraint for the Petrenko Group from arrest to house arrest, under the responsibility of deputies of the Party of Socialists, reports Actualitati.md.
“I believe it is a victory for civil society, however small. We thank everyone who spoke out and played a part in supporting us. Thanks to the Civic Forum, which included the demand for our liberation in its resolution, and to those who protested in central Chisinau on January 24, when more than 100,000 people filled the square.
“Of course, we can’t be satisfied that the arrest remains in force. Under house arrest — is still under arrest. Our arrest on September 6 was illegal,” said Grigory Petrenko.