For Immediate Release
June 12, 2019
Activists Call for Release of Moldovan Prisoner Pavel Grigorchuk
New Yorkers Will Deliver Appeal to New Government to Free Opponents of Oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc
Thursday, June 13, 12:30 pm at Moldovan Mission to UN, 35 E. 29 Street
On Thursday, June 13, New Yorkers who are part of an international appeal to free jailed antifascist activist Pavel Grigorchuk will rally at the Moldovan Mission to the UN, located at 35 E. 29 Street in Manhattan, and deliver a letter to the new government appealing for the release of Grigorchuk and other opponents of wealthy oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc.
The appeal comes amidst a fierce political struggle in Chisinau, the Moldovan capital. On June 8, the elected Moldovan Parliament established a new governing coalition of the Socialist Party (PSRM), led by President Igor Dodon, and the AKUM bloc, led by new Prime Minister Maya Sandu. Oligarch Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party (PDM) is trying to cling to power, using its control of the country’s Constitutional Court to try to invalidate the Parliamentary elections and appoint a PDM official as “interim president,” and deploying its supporters to occupy government buildings.
Pavel Grigorchuk has been jailed several times by the Plahotniuc regime, including as one of the “Petrenko Group” of political prisoners, whose case is currently being considered by the European Court of Human Rights. Opposition leader Grigory Petrenko, Grigorchuk’s co-defendant in that case, was forced to leave the country, along with other opposition activists, attorneys and human rights defenders.
Grigorchuk has been imprisoned for three months over a minor altercation with a member of Plahotniuc’s party. He has reported on the human rights abuses in Chisinau’s Detention Center PU-13, where several political prisoners and former Plahotniuc confidants are held. Some face serious health issues. Grigorchuk and others have formed a political prisoners’ association and appealed to the new government to unite with them to end the abuses of the old regime.
Along with calling for Grigorchuk’s freedom and an end to prison abuses, the New York rally will call on the U.S. government to recognize the new government of Moldova, not just in word but deed, by ending its longstanding relationship with Plahotniuc.