July 6: Co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Valentina Lezcano and Ogmundur Jonasson, who were on a familiarization visit to Moldova June 27-29, expressed “concern over the enactment of laws, as well as the functioning of the judicial system.”
In particular, they expressed concern about the restrictions imposed by the court in respect to former PACE member and parliamentary deputy Grigory Petrenko, who, under judicial control, is forbidden to leave the locality and take part in protests.
|Petrenko Group political prisoners in court.|
The PACE co-rapporteurs also argued that they “did not receive any convincing explanations concerning restrictive measures imposed against Mr. Petrenko, which prevent him from traveling outside Chisinau or participating in protests.
“It is necessary to clarify whether these restrictions are necessary and proportionate. In fact, they violate Mr. Petrenko’s right to assembly and political rights as a party leader. We are concerned that these and other constraints and unpredictable court decisions may be regarded as a political oppression, and we expressed our serious concern in this regard,” states the report of the findings of the PACE co-rapporteurs for Moldova.
Former deputy and leader of the opposition party “Our Home is Moldova” (Red Bloc) Grigory Petrenko and his comrades, who were arrested after participating in a protest in September 2015, were recognized as “political prisoners” by a U.S. State Department report on human rights, representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly the Council of Europe, and the federal government of Germany.
They were held in prison for seven months, and subsequently transferred to judicial control.
Since the application of judicial control on April 26, the members of the “Petrenko Group” have been forbidden to leave the locality, participate in protests, etc.
On July 4, despite the appeal of the deputies of the Parliamentary Assembly, who in a recent Declaration demanded “the immediate cessation of political repression and harassment” of politicians and activists in Moldova, the Riscani Sector Court decided to extend judicial control by another 30 days over Petrenko and his comrades.
At the same time, after the visit of the PACE co-rapporteurs for Moldova, the court decided to let Grigory Petrenko and his comrades travel within the territory of the Republic of Moldova, but retained the prohibitions on leaving the country and taking part in protests.