Studying in Romanian language in Transnistria is a matter of courage
The human rights are still a matter of concern in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria. The employees as well as the students learning in the Latin-script educational institutions in Transnistria are being intimidated and their rights violated.
Eleonora Cercavschi, President of the Transnistrian Teachers Association “Lumina” from the Republic of Moldova addressed a notification to all OSCE bodies as well as to the Moldovan leadership about the current situation in terms of human rights in Transnistria. Within her letter, Ms. Cercavschi asks the international organizations “to have a more active approach towards the protection of Human Rights in the Transnistrian region, to assure the protection of the right to education for the Romanian-speaking children and to abolish the discrimination towards them.”
According to the note, on the 15th of March 2012, the so-called minister of foreign affairs from Tiraspol Nina Shtanski offended the professors, students and their parents during a meeting with Knut Vollebaek, OSCE High Commissioner on Minorities.
“Ms. Shtanski offended the teachers, parents and students of the eight Latin-script schools in the region,” Ms. Cercavschi wrote.
There are fewer students attending the 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.
“Persons dressed in border guards uniforms and the Transnistrian militia from the border post installed in Dorotcaia village, which did not present themselves and only wore badges with the numbers 45, 220, 114, 245, 112 etc., blocked daily the free passing of the student busses. The students and the teachers were stopped and subjected to persecutions for an hour or more,” the head of “Lumina” Association explained.
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 said.
The Moldovan authorities have a hard time intervening in the separatist region which is outside of their control.
Being obliged to cross an inner border within their country, many people are tired of useless controls when going to school or work while crossing the bridge over Nistru River.
Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized entity proclaimed in Tiraspol on September 2, 1990, initially styled the Moldavian Transnistrian Soviet Socialist Republic. Currently known as the Moldavian Transnistrian Republic, this breakaway entity consists of a narrow strip of land (180 km by 32 km) nestled between the east bank of the Nistru River and the border of Moldova with Ukraine, on a small part of what used to be, between 1924 and 1940, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1992 escalated a conflict between Moldova and Russia over this territory. A cease-fire was signed the same year by president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and president of Moldova Mircea Snegur. An agreement to withdraw all Russian forces from the trans-Nistrian districts of the Republic of Moldova was signed by Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin in 1994. It stipulated that the 14th Army was to leave the Republic of Moldova within three years, but the agreement was never ratified by the Duma, Russia’s legislature.