Activist Ghenadie Brega seeks political asylum in Iceland

The activist Ghenadie Brega has asked for political asylum in Iceland fearing for his life in Moldova. In a statement announcing his decision, he is asking international organizations to keep an eye out for the democratic backslides happening in Moldova in the last few years.

Brega said the latest attempt to intimidate him was police declaring him wanted in a set of criminal proceedings started after he investigated a case of official misconduct in the government.

According to him, when the criminal proceedings were started he was summoned to testify, but a few months later, his status was changed from witness to suspect, and without a formal notification too.

The activist thinks he is persecuted for political reasons and a potential arrest will be a threat to his life.

Ghenadie Brega says he was constantly harassed by the authorities in the last ten years as both a journalist and a member of a human rights NGO. The persecutions intensified, he says, after his brother and fellow activist Oleg entered the race to become an independent MP. In many cases, he was denied access into the courtroom for public hearings, and many of his legal complaints were rejected with no apparent reason.

“The instances of persecution against me, as documented by lawyers and civil society representatives, resulted in six cases being lost by Moldova at the European Court of Human Rights, cases in which I was involved directly. In particular, this included cases where I was hit by plain-clothes police officers when on a hunger strike outside the Government building, and cases where I was arrested in the street on numerous occasions during peaceful protests and subsequently detained in inhuman and degrading conditions”, said Ghenadie Brega.

The activist is urging the law-enforcement to resist any pressure from political actors and investigate in an objective manner all the cases of harassment against journalists and not only; while media representatives are urged to monitor instances of abuse and intmidation anagist fellow journalists and activists that the current government finds troublesome.