Communications
report
Feb. 28, 2016

Moldova communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

moldova flagThis page summarizes cases raised with the Republic of Moldova by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Moldova.

Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared.

Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available).

Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Moldova, English).

First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012)

None

Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013)

  1. Joint allegation letter, 04/07/2012. Case no. MDA 3/2012. State Reply: 16/10/2012. Alleged bans on public activities organized by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in several municipalities in Moldova.
  2. Joint urgent appeal, 08/02/2013. Case no. MDA 1/2013. State Reply: 09/04/2013. Alleged risks to the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Angela Frolov and Ms. Doina Ioana Straisteanu in view of insults and threats received during court hearings

Observations
The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the Government of the Republic of Moldova for replying to the two communications he sent during the reporting period.

The Special Rapporteur urges urges urges urges urges urges the authorities to retain from adopting and/or from implementing legislation that will unduly restrict the rights to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly to all individuals without discrimination of any kind. He further urges the authorities to ensure that no one is subject to, or threaten to be subject to, discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, persecution, intimidation or reprisals when exercising their rights to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly. He requests the authorities to keep him informed about the measures taken to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Angela Frolov and Ms. Doina Ioana Straisteanu.

In relation to reported acts of harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur refers to Human Rights Council resolution 21/16, and in particular operative paragraph 1 which “reminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights” (emphasis added).

Third Report (March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014)

  1. Joint allegation letter, 17/05/2013. Case no. MDA 2/2013. State reply: 28/06/2013. Allegations relating to a re-routing of the 2013 Chisinau Pride Parade.
  2. Joint allegation letter, 29/07/2013. Case no. MDA 4/2013. State reply: 08/11/2013. Alleged risk of restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

Observations
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Moldova for its replies to the two communications sent during the reporting period.

The Special Rapporteur remains nevertheless concerned at the hostile environment in which human rights defenders promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTI people operate in the country. In this regard, article 90 of the Contravention Code no. 218-XVI, as amended by Law no. 117 (2013), provides that the distribution of public information (with or without criminal intent” on “relations other than those of the family and marriage as specified in the Family Code” will entail sanctions. The Special Rapporteur notes of the Ministry of Interior’s Implementation Instruction for article 90, dated 26 July 2013, and calls on the authorities to adopt the adequate measures to ensure that individuals promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTI people can work in a safe and enabling environment without fear of violence or harassment of any sort. In this regard, he echoes his recommendation made to States to “[t]ake positive measures, including affirmative action measures, to ensure that all individuals belonging to groups most at risk [such as LGBTI people] have the ability to exercise effectively their rights, including to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association” (A/HRC/26/29, para. 73(c)).

The Special Rapporteur refers to Human Rights Council resolution 24/5, and in particular operative paragraph 1 that “[r]eminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law”.

Fourth Report (March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015)

  1. Joint urgent appeal, 10/02/2015. Case no: MDA 1/2015. State reply: 30/03/2015. Alleged risk of dissolution of two religious associations.
  2. Joint urgent appeal, 18/06/2014. Case no: MDA 1/2014. State reply: 16/09/2014, 18/08/2014. Alleged detention and ill-treatment of a human rights defender.

Observations

Responses to communications
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government for its response to the communication sent on 10 February 2015 on the alleged risk of dissolution of the religious associations Falun Dafa and Qigong Falun Gong Moldova and asks it to keep him informed about the current status of the deliberation of the Supreme Court regarding their possible dissolution (MDA 1/2015). Moreover he thanks the authorities for their response to the communication sent on 18 June 2014 in relation to the alleged detention of a human rights defender (MDA 1/2014). He is grateful for the cooperation extended to the mandate, in compliance with Human Rights Council resolutions 24/5 (2013), 21/16 (2012) and 15/21 (2010).

Negative obligation of the State to not to unduly interfere with the right to freedom of association
In relation to the case regarding the alleged risk of dissolution of Falun Dafa and Qigong Falun Gong Moldova, the Special Rapporteur remains concerned about the decision of the Supreme Court to label the spiritual emblem of these associations, a sauwastika symbol, as extremist despite the legitimate nature of their activities and the fact that this symbol has various meanings and is commonly used in many Asian religious traditions (MDA 1/2015).

The Special Rapporteur reminds the State that the Government has an obligation not to obstruct the exercise of the right to freedom of association. This important responsibility includes protecting associations that pursue objectives and employ means in accordance with international human rights law from undue interference and guaranteeing that they benefit from international legal protection (A/HRC/20/27, paragraph 64).

Positive environment in which the right to freedom of association is exercised
In connection with the case of alleged deprivation of liberty, ill-treatment and lack of judicial remedies of Mr. Andrey Rezanov, chair of the non-governmental organization Fair Justice, in light of his human rights activities, the Special Rapporteur is grateful for the swift efforts of the officials to collaborate with the relevant authorities in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova (MDA 1/2014). He takes note of the contextual complexity and asks the authorities to keep him informed of the investigations of the European Court of Human Rights at the earliest opportunity. He remains seriously concerned about the grave nature of the alleged violations of Mr. Rezanov’s fundamental rights and reminds the Government to take note, in relation to these allegations, of the Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the updated set of principles for the protection of human rights through action to combat impunity (A/HRC/RES/16/23, paragraph 7b). Moreover, he calls upon the relevant authorities to ensure a conducive environment to the free exercise of the right of association; a right enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, acceded by the Republic of Moldova on 26 January 1973.

Fifth Report (March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016)

  1. Joint allegation letter, 07/12/2015. Case no. MDA 5/2015. State reply: 21/01/2016. Alleged stigmatization and criminal proceedings against civil society associations and human rights defenders in direct response to their legitimate and peaceful human rights work in the Transnistrian region.

Observations

Response to communication
The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Moldova for responding to the communication sent during this reporting period.

In connection with the criminal proceedings initiated against the human rights association, Promo-LEX, in the region of Transnistria, the Special Rapporteur notes the State’s reply of 21 January 2016 (MDA 5/2015). However, he remains concerned about the situation of human rights organisations in the region and acknowledges the measures taken by the Government of Moldova in this regard. Additionally, he would appreciate information about whether a reply has subsequently been received from Political Representatives in Tiraspol relating to the case and whether there has been any dialogue on such matters.

The Special Rapporteur takes this opportunity to remind the Government of Moldova that it has a positive obligation to ensure a safe and conducive environment to the free exercise of the right of association, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, acceded by the Republic of Moldova on 26 January 1973 (A/HRC/29/25/Add.3, paras. 44, 45 and 46).

For the full reports, containing communications, replies and observations for all countries, see the following links:

Report A/HRC/20/27/Add.3: May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012

Report A/HRC/23/39/Add.2: March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013

Report A/HRC/26/29/Add.1: March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014

Report A/HRC/29/25/Add.3: March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015

Report A/HRC/32/36/Add.3: March 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016

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