Moldova: Pavel Grigorchuk left under house arrest despite PACE declaration on political prisoners

By Nadezhda Coptu

Chisinau, July 1: Civil activist Pavel Grigorchuk, who is on trial for an incident with the Democratic Party deputy Sergei Sirbu, was left under house arrest. This decision was made on July 1 by the court of the Buyukana sector. 

Pavel Grigorchuk speaks to media outside court room July 1.
Attorney Alexander Bodnaryuk petitioned for Grigorchuk’s release. He explained the appeal by the fact that a declaration was issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in which representatives of a dozen countries demanded the release of political prisoners in Moldova. Grigorchuk is on the list of political prisoners.

The lawyer also recalled that last week the Ministry of Justice expressed concern that the practice of preliminary arrest was excessively used in the country. Prosecutor Sergei Zame said that he considers the lawyer’s request unfounded.

Judge Sergei Stratan did not grant the motion of Grigorchuk’s lawyer. He will remain under house arrest.

Recall that the Council of Europe on June 27 registered an application for the release of political prisoners and the eradication of the “political police” in Moldova. The statement, initiated by the Moldovan delegation to PACE, was signed by representatives of different countries, and was published on its website.

In the statement, PACE members expressed concern about the fate of people from Moldova who are persecuted for political reasons: lawyers Ana Ursachi, Edward Rudenko and Ion Cretu, judges Domnica Manole, Dorin Munteanu and Gheorghe Balan, political prisoners Gheorghe Petik and Grigory Petrenko, activist Pavel Grigorchuk, witnesses Sergei Chebotar and Valentina Eshanu.

In the statement, PACE members also condemn the actions of the former Moldovan government in the forced expulsion of seven Turkish teachers to the law enforcement agencies of Turkey, and called on the new Moldovan authorities to facilitate their return to the republic.

Activist Pavel Grigorchuk has been under preliminary arrest since March 23 after an incident with the Democratic MP Sergei Sirbu. According to the deputy, Grigorchuk beat him. Grigorchuk himself says that he gave Sirbu a slap in the face. Grigorchuk has already had the preliminary arrest extended three times.

Grigorchuk is charged under the article on hooliganism by a person who had previously committed hooliganism. The defendant faces up to five years in prison. The case of Grigorchuk and Sirbu is being considered by the Buyukan court.

On June 17, Grigorchuk was transferred from the detention center to house arrest. 


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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