Right to education in Transnistria addressed by Grand Chamber of ECHR
The right to education and the right to respect for private and family life in Transnistria are some of the complaints that will be addressed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on Friday.
The case will be carried between Catan and others vs. the Republic of Moldova and Russia, as the Court informed in a press release. It implies complaints coming from parents and children living in Moldova’s secessionist region of Transnistria related to the effects of the language policy adopted in 1992 and 1994 by the self-established region. They prohibited the use of the Latin alphabet in educational institutions, as well as appealed to forcible eviction of teachers and students from Latin-script schools.
As ECHR informs, the applicants are 170 citizens of Moldova who reside in Transnistria.
“They all complain that their schools were closed down in 2002 and 2004 and forced to reopen in different, inadequate premises lacking materials and often requiring a long journey to and from school,” ECHR reported in a press release.
“They also allege that those who chose to continue educating their children in Moldovan/Romanian-language schools were subjected to on-going harassment, intimidation and verbal abuse.”
There are fewer students attending the current eight Latin-script schools in the Transnistrian region, but the situation is similar in all other educational institutions in Transnistria, where the teaching language is Russian. Last year, the so-called authorities from Transnistria tried to divert the functioning of “Stefan cel Mare si Sfant” High School from Grigoriopol town. Since September 1 for a period of three weeks, the students and teachers attending this school were subject to intimidation.
The teachers are concerned that for 11 years yet this high school has “to run its activities into exile.” The students as well as the staff have to travel to Dorotcaia village which is located in Dubasari County. They are forced to cross daily the so-called border between Moldova and Transnistria.
“We are concerned because the right of the indigenous population to study and express itself at all levels in its mother tongue is still disregarded and despised by the new “leadership” in Tiraspol as it has been in the past. In this matter, we see no difference, no change for the better, as it was promised during the electoral campaign,” Eleonora Cercavschi, President of the Transnistrian Teachers Association “Lumina” said.
The dossier was handed in to ECHR by Promo-LEX Association in 2004.
“There are eight years of work behind this dossier. We are glad to come to an end and we are thankful to all those who supported this,” said Ion Manole, the president of Promo-LEX Association.Moldova.ORG