Three years later after violent riot, justice has not been brought to Moldova
Three years ago thousands of Moldovans took to the streets of the country to demonstrate against the government and to contest the former parliamentary elections. Organizing themselves on the social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Odnoklassniki – a Russian social network, the protesters, mainly teenagers gathered on the National Square from Moldova’s capital of Chisinau. Carrying Moldovan and Romanian flags, the youngsters demanded free and fair elections and better living conditions. The Communist Party had won most of the votes – almost half of the seats in the Parliament. The teenagers expressed their anger about the Communists return to power.
Over 460 people suffered injuries as a result of the riot. After three years since the violent demonstration, only 15 persons have been sued. Three men died after they have been hit and severely injured. There isn’t a final conclusion about the way the men died and who is responsible for their death. An international investigation conducted during the past years showed that the police officer Ion Perju is responsible for Valeriu Boboc’s death. The Court hasn’t taken a decision on this case yet.
The building of the Parliament was sent on fire and many offices were vandalized by some protesters. The Presidential Building, which is in front of the Parliament, was also destroyed during the violent riots.
April 7, 2009 – was the first time when Moldova made it to the front page of many international newspapers. The New York Times wrote that day: “A crowd of more than 10,000 young Moldovans materialized seemingly out of nowhere on Tuesday to protest against Moldova’s Communist leadership, ransacking government buildings and clashing with the police.”
It was quite difficult to spread the information that day because the government suddenly cut off the internet. Several news outlets had difficulties in providing information to the readers nationwide, while ProTV channel was providing live updates on the website of their affiliates in Bucharest. Many foreign journalists have been banned from entering the country. Other local reporters were beaten up during demonstrations and were taken to the police station for questions.
CNN wrote that the journalists’ “attempts to cover massive anti-government protests this week have put them in danger in the former Soviet state.”
Non-violent protests followed in the days after. As a solidarity measure, Moldovans living and working or studying abroad peacefully demonstrated in front of their embassies to express solidarity towards their fellows from home. Romania, the USA, the UK, France, Italy and other countries were among the ones where the Moldovans demonstrated.
The day of April 7 is already memorable for most of the people in the country. After three years since the riots, justice has not been brought yet.