Moldovan parliament sets up commission to probe postelection riot
The Moldovan parliament has set up a special commission in charge of investigating the causes and consequences of the 7 April mass riots in Chisinau. The commission has nine members representing all five parliamentary factions.
Under the decision passed by parliament, representatives of civil society and experts of international organizations will also participate in the work of the commission.
The commission will also look at the activities of police and investigative bodies in the aftermath of the riots. Its members will have to establish whether police violated human rights and brutalized participants in the protest rallies. The commission is due to submit a report on its activities to parliament within 60 days.
Earlier, acting president and speaker Mihai Ghimpu said, "Moldova's new authorities plan to complete the investigation of the 7 April riots in Chisinau."
As already reported by Infotag, t! he Communist Party won 60 out of 101 seats at the 5 April parliamentary election. The remaining 41 seats were won by three opposition parties. The second day the opposition organized protest rallies, saying that the election outcome was rigged by the Communist Party. On 7 April, the protest actions turned into mass riots during which the parliament building and the presidential administration were destroyed. The reconstruction of the two buildings, which is due to be completed in May 2010, will cost 40m dollars. After the riots, police and prosecution started reprisals against participants in the protests.
The then ruling Communist Party set up its own commission in charge of investigating the causes and consequences of the riots. The commission held just one meeting, after which its work was suspended given the start of a new election campaign for the 29 July early parliamentary election.
According to Moldovan NGOs, about 700 people were persecute! d and over 300 were beaten in police commissariats in the wake of the riots. The prosecution launched criminal cases against dozens of people. Those cases have not been closed yet. At the same time, after the former opposition came to power in Moldova following the 29 July election criminal cases were opened against 31 policemen who were accused of violating human rights.