Moldova activist jailed after responding to insult from oligarch politician

Translator’s note: Pavel Grigorchuk is one of the most courageous fighters against capitalist oligarchy in Moldova, a former Soviet republic in Eastern Europe. Grigorchuk, a militant communist and anti-fascist, has been targeted by the regime of oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc many times. He was a member of the Petrenko Group political prisoners arrested at a demonstration in 2015 and jailed for several months, then released with numerous restrictions on their movement and political activity. 
Despite this, Grigorchuk has continued to fight for the country’s liberation from oligarch domination. Now he has been jailed for 30 days and faces up to five years in prison on trumped up charges after an altercation with a sell-out parliamentary deputy. #FreeGrigorchuk 

‘Don’t sell yourself to Plahotniuc, sell yourself to the people!’ civic action

Chisinau, March 21: Civic activist Pavel Grigorchuk organized a rally in front of the Moldovan parliament building, urging deputies “not to sell out to [oligarch Vlad] Plahotniuc,” reports eNews.

Pavel Grigorchuk speaks at rally in front of parliament, March 21.

“The bag of money has become a symbol of Moldovan politics. Shore walked away with a bag of money, many others too. So I decided to organize a comical action and bring a bag with money (props – ed.) urging the deputies not to sell out,” Grigorchuk said.

The activist also noted that he believes that today there is an opportunity to form an anti-oligarchic majority of the deputies of the Socialist Party (PSRM) and the AKUM bloc to begin making changes for the better.

“If this does not happen, it will mean that the deputies have sold out,” said Pavel Grigorchuk.

Source

MP Syrbu got a slap in the face for insults

March 21: A representative of the ruling Democratic Party (PDM), MP Sergey Syrbu, received a slap in the face in response to insults immediately after the parliament session.

The incident took place in one of the institutions in Central Park, where a number of PDM deputies decided to “celebrate” the first session.

Syrbu offended Pavel Grigorchuk, one of the political prisoners of the “Petrenko Group” who was there. In turn, Grigorchuk considered it fair to respond with a slap to the right cheek of the deputy of Plahotniuc’s party. 

Deputy Sergey Syrbu, originally elected as a Communist,
sold himself to oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc’s PDM.

Another member of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Chebotar, who was in the institution, also ran up to help Syrbu. Eyewitnesses report that Chebotar attacked Grigorchuk with threats, promising to “deal” with him. At this moment, Syrbu hurried to escape from the institution.

Syrbu himself has not yet reported anything about the “attempt” on his immunity.

Syrbu is vice-chairman of the Democratic Party of the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc.

Source

Pavel Grigorchuk arrested for 30 days

By Maxim Andreev, NewsMaker

March 23: The court of the Chekana metropolitan sector placed civic activist Pavel Grigorchuk under preventive arrest for 30 days. Prosecutors demanded the arrest of Grigorchuk in the framework of a hooliganism case, opened after Democratic Party Deputy Sergei Syrbu said that Grigorchuk had beaten him at the Penthouse cafe in the capital. Grigorchuk faces up to five years in prison.

At the court session Grigorchuk, who was detained on the day of the incident, was brought in handcuffs. They were removed only after Grigorchuk’s statement, although they should have been removed immediately upon entering the courtroom.

At the beginning of the meeting, Judge Lyudmila Barbos announced that they would consider the petition of prosecutors behind closed doors. Grigorchuk demanded that the meeting be open: “In addition to the fact that the victim is a deputy, and the former justice minister speaks [deputy chairman of the Democratic Party Vladimir Chebotar], the case received a public response, so please consider it in an open meeting.”

When the judge refused, Grigorchuk demanded the judge’s disqualification. The meeting was interrupted for the panel of judges to consider Grigorchuk’s motion to challenge.

The panel of judges rejected Grigorchuk’s petition to challenge the judge.

An ally of Grigorchuk in the “Petrenko group,” Alexander Roshko, published a video from courthouse on his Facebook page.

Roshko reported that the video from surveillance cameras at the Penthouse cafe was destroyed. 

Grigorchuk was one of the ‘Petrenko Group’ anti-oligarchy activists
who were brutalized and jailed in 2015.

The second suspect in the case is lawyer Edward Rudenko, who was present during the incident. According to him, he also faces up to five years in prison on the same charges. “After I came to [the police] as a lawyer, I turned out to be accused of a criminal offense. I think that now they may even detain me,” said the lawyer, adding that he was 10-20 meters from Syrbu and could not have attacked him. “He stated that I insulted him with Pavel Grigorchuk. For false testimonies, criminal punishment is foreseen,” Rudenko added.

The skirmish between Grigorchuk and Syrbu, we recall, occurred on March 21 at the Penthouse café in the capital. Syrbu claims that Grigorchuk beat him. According to Grigorchuk, there was a “skirmish” between him and Syrbu, during which he slapped the Democrat. After this, Syrbu’s party members left the cafe and promised to “sort things out” with Grigorchuk.

Syrbu was hospitalized, and Grigorchuk was detained for 72 hours in a criminal case of hooliganism.

Syrbu said that he was in the Emergency Hospital and was being examined. However, as an NM source reported the next day, Syrbu did not spend the night in the hospital. Attempts by NM to talk to Syrbu in the hospital were not successful — no one was allowed to visit him, and one of the hospital staff said that Syrbu was not there. Syrbu himself insisted that he was in the hospital, but he categorically refused to meet.

Later, the hospital press service reported that Syrbu had a closed head injury, concussion, and also soft tissue bruise on the right side of the face. And the deputy posted on Facebook a photo from the window of the hospital ward to confirm that he is in the emergency hospital.

We note that on March 12, Pavel Grigorchuk was sentenced to a suspended sentence of four years in the case of the “Petrenko Group.” According to the lawyer Vadim Vieru, who represents his interests in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), if Grigorchuk is convicted after the incident with Syrbu, then he will be given a real prison term, but for this there must be a final court decision. “Before the announcement of the sentence, he falls under the presumption of innocence,” said Vieru.

Source

Pavel Grigorchuk’s letter to Democrat Sergey Syrbu

March 24: Civic activist Pavel Grigorchuk, who was arrested for 30 days after the incident with Democrat Sergey Syrbu, wrote an appeal to his former party colleague (both were members of the Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova – PCRM). Grigorchuk handed over the letter through his lawyer. We publish excerpts from the letter while preserving the author’s style.

About the last drop 

You’re not allowed to have writing pens in the temporary detention center. You can only write at meetings with a lawyer. I thank my lawyer Alexander Bodnaryuk for the opportunity to comment on the incident that occurred between me and the notorious Democrat Sergey Syrbu.

The spontaneous blow, which I inflicted with my left palm to the deputy’s cheek after his arrogant and boorish behavior and obscene use of my name, had accumulated over all the years of Syrbu’s collaboration and cooperation with the regime. But the last drop of patience, of course, was the behavior of Sergey, who apparently imagines himself to be the Master of Life, who can freely insult ordinary citizens thanks to his closeness to the soft and warm body of the oligarchy.

I consider it my mistake to succumb to spontaneous emotions, and to slap the face of Deputy Syrbu. This offense is administrative and can be punished with a fine of 200 lei. And I think that for other citizens there would be no temptation to spend 10 euros to give slaps to Moldovan parliamentarians, since we have all been witnesses to the buffoonery of Sergey Syrbu and the entire Plahotniuc media empire, shouting about the allegedly grave consequences and injuries received from the slap.

About the mandate from the PCRM

Sergey, in 2010, I, like many hundreds of thousands of voters, voted for the party on whose lists you went to parliament. Then it was the Party of Communists (PCRM), whose voters gave you a ticket to Moldovan politics and the mandate of their trust. At that time, being a young Komsomol member, I actively participated in the agitation so that as many people as possible would vote for you.

But one day you, having fallen asleep a communist, woke up a Democrat the next morning. And it so happened that after that, one after another, you had apartments with luxurious furnishings in new buildings and other pleasant elements of the beautiful life of defectors.

By the way, I’m sorry for the Brioni glasses (I hope I wrote the brand name correctly) that flew off after the slap. I hope they didn’t break, and that you won’t add their value in any damages to you. For what they cost, a grandmother can probably live for a year. For me, this amount will also be great. After all, Sergey, I have not yet paid off my debts to the bailiffs for the fines for participating in the protests of the PCRM, in which you also participated as a deputy and a fighter against those you later sold out to.

However, unfortunately, corruption in parliament is not only your trait, but the credo of many “public servants.” But it should be noted that of all the defectors and traitors, you are the brightest in parliament.

And I went with lawyer Edward Rudenko to a protest at the parliament, in which I clearly demonstrated, with a bag full of foreign currency, the level of corruption in the Moldovan legislature. By the way, a bag of money would be a great symbol for your party, which increases the number of its deputies not through election results, but by the sudden realization of dozens of elected representatives overnight that they are actually Democrats.

About regret

And so, when I saw you after the theatrical rally with a bag of money for a deputy, I had the desire to share the idea of ​​changing the PDM party symbol to a logo with a money bag. But instead of sharing this creative proposal, a slap to the face came out, because you met me with a haughty attitude and arrogance, mixed with obscene language. 

Grigorchuk with ‘money bag’ used at March 21 protest.
However, after the slap you changed dramatically, and even said with resentment: “Can you do it this way?” By the way, our conversation after the slap testifies to your lies about the allegedly excessive blow. It was a strange beating where you remained standing and even continued the conversation afterward. However, perhaps, for the sake of the party, injuries were inflicted on you by Vladimir Chebotar, who also joined our heated conversation, but after making threats against me took you from the cafe. But I hope that you stayed okay after this.
But no matter how ridiculous this situation is, I still regret having slapped you in the face. Because believe me, I have enough spirit not only to lash the cheeks of corrupt deputies, I can easily cut them up in debates. And I agree with you, with what you made clear with your question after the slap: that in politics you need to resolve issues with political debate.

But remember how the PDM fought against its opponents: opening criminal cases against party leaders and activists, banning the broadcasts of opposition media, removing candidates and parties from elections, annulling elections in case of victory for undesirable deputies, etc. Does this look like a political debate to you?

However, you have a chance to prove that you are for honest political discussion. To do this, you just need to come debate with me. Choose the time and place yourself. You were indignant that I slapped you after your insult, that I did not answer you with words. I’m compelled to agree with you here. I am ready and waiting for the debate.

Take an example from your senior comrade Chebotar. He threatened me and kept his word: less than an hour had passed after our meeting when dozens of police officers flooded the office of attorney Edward Rudenko to carry out my detention. So, learn from Chebotar, he threatened me and kept his word. 

You said you need words. So prove it by coming to debate me.

About untouchable boyars and slaves

And to conclude the topic of the use of force and physical violence in Moldovan politics, I just want to remind you about the “Tsutsikov,” these athletes Dorin Damir and Konstantin Tsutsu, who repeatedly attacked protesters, beat journalists from the Omega agency and Jurnal TV, and did not shun attacks on unwanted lawyers . You raised animals, instilled in them a sense of impunity, that they would always get away with everything.

This sense of impunity led to the fact that the “Tzutsiki” Aurel Ignat and Mikhail Pyrgar killed Sergei Bezhenar last year, after he stood up for a woman the PDM athletes were molesting.

Bezhenar left behind a spouse and a small child, and both of these “Tzutsiki” are at large today, despite the fact that they killed a man. Now, if they had slapped a PDM deputy, they would probably be sitting in jail today, just like me.

After all, there are special people who have more rights, and there are those without. There are untouchable boyars from the PDM, and there are slaves who can be killed.

Now I am finished writing this letter and will return to my cell, near where Andrei Braguc was murdered. Do you know what binds you, Braguc and Bezhenar? All three were protagonists in the Plahotniuc media. The difference is that they spoke about Braguc as a person who behaved inadequately when he was detained. Of Sergei Bezhenar, the Plahotniuc channels said that he was a man from a bad family, as if to justify that Pyrgar and Ignat killed a not-so-good person.

But about you, those same channels are now saying that after a slap in the face you are supposedly in serious condition, you are in the hospital, and everyone should sympathize with you.

Source

Translated by Greg Butterfield

7 thoughts on “Moldova activist jailed after responding to insult from oligarch politician

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