Moldovan leftist Grigory Petrenko receives political asylum in Germany

By Vladimir Solovyov, NewsMaker.md

The leader of Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) party, opposition politician Grigory Petrenko, who secretly left Moldova in August, has received political asylum in Germany. He told this to NewsMaker.md.

According to Petrenko, the German authorities on October 18 officially notified him of the granting of political asylum. “The document I received recognizes the fact of political persecution. The decision says that this is political asylum granted because I was persecuted in my homeland,” Grigory Petrenko said. 

Grigory Petrenko
NM reported on September 12 that Grigory Petrenko left Moldova in late August. The politician said then that he had left the country secretly and moved to Germany, where he submitted documents to the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) for political asylum. Normally, the procedure for considering such appeals and making a decision may take up to six months. In the case of Petrenko, everything happened much faster.

On June 28, the Riscani district court in Chisinau handed down a suspended sentenced to Grigory Petrenko of 4.5 years imprisonment and a fine of 400 cu (20 thousand lei) for organizing mass riots (Article 285 of the Criminal Code). The terms of Petrenko’s sentence banned him from leaving the territory of Moldova.

Other members of the Petrenko Group — Mikhail Amerberg, Pavel Grigorchuk, Alexander Roshko, Vladimir Zhurat, Andrei Druz and Oleg Buznya — also received suspended sentences of 3 to 4.5 years and fines.

Petrenko and six of his associates were detained on September 6, 2015, during a protest at the Prosecutor General’s Office. After six months in prison and two months under house arrest, the members of the Petrenko Group were released under judicial control, but with a ban against participating in protest actions and with some other restrictions.

Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Government of Germany and the U.S. State Department recognized the members of the Petrenko Group as political prisoners.

Recently it became known that journalist Gennady Brega has asked for political asylum in Iceland.

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