‘Freedom Moldova’ founded as genuine advocate for human rights

In the Republic of Moldova, a new organization for the protection of human rights has been created and will function under the name of “Freedom Moldova.” On Friday, March 24, the organization’s founder, former parliamentary deputy and political prisoner Grigory Petrenko, made the announcement.

“Democratic institutions do not function in Moldova, and it is a situation where elements of dictatorship are present. Therefore it is logical to have an independent and impartial structure in this field, which will monitor the state of affairs in the field of human rights and be quite tough with those who violate them,” Petrenko said at a news conference.

The former deputy and political prisoner explained why he decided to initiate such an organization, which will not be afraid to “call things by their proper names.”

“You may wonder, ‘What is Grigory Petrenko looking for here?’ I decided to found this new organization, this idea appeared when we were imprisoned by the current regime for participating in protest actions. Then our case caused a wave of critical reaction to the current authorities from a number of international organizations that monitor the observance of human rights – such as representatives of the Parliamentary Association of the Council of Europe. Then in Penitentiary No. 13, the members of the PACE Monitoring Committee also visited. But there was no reaction from Moldovan organizations that monitor the observance of human rights. There was only one exception: a harsh reaction from Amnesty International Moldova followed,” the former deputy noted.

Petrenko stated that “although there are many human rights NGOs in the Republic of Moldova, they exist only on paper.

“The situation that happened to us prompted me to initiate, to establish an autonomous, independent structure that will monitor the human rights situation and will act with quick and clear responses in case of violation of human rights — not only political, but also others. I hope that the authorities will take into account our reports,” he said, noting that “at present there is a shortage of impartial organizations that are not afraid to call things by their proper names.”

The “Freedom Moldova” Human Rights Foundation elected a board consisting of three members: former deputy Grigory Petrenko, lawyer Roman Malinovsky and lawyer Roman Aronov. Subsequently, according to the founders, “the council will expand, and will also be more representative.”


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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