Citizens randomly prosecuted and jailed in separatist region of Transnistria
Every year there are reports that innocent people were kidnapped in Moldova’s separatist region of Transnistria. The so-called police officers known as “militia” illegally arrest, humiliate and prosecute people for outrages they have not committed.
Journalistic Investigation Center in Chisinau studied several human rights violations in Transnistria proving how one can be raped in his own country. The Center presents the case of Ion Macari, a 20-year-old man from Lipceni, Rezina County. He has recently returned home after staying eight months imprisoned in the jail in Transnistria.
His story backs in November 2011. He was informed that “someone” is waiting for him at the Town Hall of the village. Together with his father, the young man went to the place where he learnt that he is accused of robbery which took place a year and a half ago. He was summoned to enter a car and drive with the “militians” to Camenca, a town located in Transnistria, region that Moldova does not control. The man wasn’t even having an ID card with him while he was arrested.
Ever since, Ion Macari was interviewed in Russian language every day, a language he can scarcely speak. The police officers of the secessionist region put on him pressure to recognize the robbery which he did not commit.
The head of Human Rights Center Anatolie Munteanu said that “the arrest of the Moldovan citizens on the right bank of Nistru River is a severe violation of the legislation and human rights.” He explains that the people are tortured and bad-treated, while the Moldovan authorities cannot intervene to monitor these cases. The expert suggests the law authorities to run investigations and prosecute the perpetrators of such violations.
Another incident refers to Vasile Fricatel’s case who was arrested on September 9, 2011, by the Moldovan policemen, as his relatives say. The man was beaten up and sent with a boat over Nistru River, in Transnistria, where he came under the custody of the separatist “militia.” He was later tortured to admit that he would have stolen cows. The man was imprisoned in Hlinoaia village for a period of time. After he was released, the man did not arrive back home. For over a year, his relatives don’t have any information about him.
The man’s relatives said they requested the law enforcement authorities to prosecute those who kidnapped Vasile Fricatel, but they were not able to identify the perpetrators.
Even the Moldovan police officers are victims of the separatist region. Alexandru Ursu is an officer of the Moldovan Ministry of Interior who was arrested in July 2009 by the illegitimate police officers in Bender town, Transnistria. A self-proclaimed court from the separatist region sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
According to Promo-LEX, Mr. Ursu is detained in a cell with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis carriers. The man suffered a stroke in January this year and the illness may return because of the precarious detention conditions.
“Promo-LEX Association, which monitors the situation of human rights in the Transnistrian region, expresses its concern for the security and freedom of the police officer “sentenced” by the de facto authorities. Art.29 of Law no.416 on Police states that “the police officer is an inviolable person and enjoys state protection. His/her personality, honor and dignity are protected by law,” the think tank informed in a press release.
The President of Promo-LEX Association Ion Manole said that most of the people are staying in jail based on the decision of unrecognized authorities and documents that are not legally-binding.
According to him, while over six thousand people are imprisoned on the right bank of Nistru River, more than three thousand people are jailed in three penitentiaries on the left bank – in Transnistria.