Is the right for freedom of assembly intentionally limited by the ruling parties?!

Some protestors who participated in the peaceful protest, on the 14th of May 2017, as well as investigative journalists, representatives of the civil society have reported attempts of intimidation and restriction of the right to join peaceful meetings.

The State of RM, by art. 40 from the Constitution, should guarantee the fundamental freedom for peaceful assembles, “including protests, demonstrations, manifestations or any other meetings should be free and guaranteed” without pressure or interference from the state entities.

On the 14th of May, State Enterprise “Moldova Railways” has decided to cancel the movement of the trains on the whole territory of RM, for one day. Up to this moment, no objective information is available in regards to the deteriorated railways by the Sunday rains flows.  Several people have declared that this decision has limited their right to movement and to take part in the protest.

Several participants, who managed to take part in the Sunday protest, informed that the police patrol, stopped, questioned and fined the drivers who transported participants to this particular protest, in an abusive way.

The information related to the necessity of assisting the rail transportation, the dislocation of a big number of patrolling police officers, has been presented by a number of media affiliated to some political leaders, and for this reason it cannot be considered accurate.

We believe these actions are a substantial violation of the art. 4, part 1, § a) of the Law on Meetings – the state has not secured the fulfillment of the principle of proportionality, according to which, “at the application of any kind of restriction of the freedom of meetings, the public authorities should respect the principle of balance between the necessity of such a restriction in a democratic society and the exercise of the right for assembly”.

Amnesty International Moldova welcomes the civic activism and expresses its concern related to the arbitrating decisions, which limit the rights of the citizens.

Furthermore, we express our concern regarding the offensive and irresponsible speech of the President of RM, in a television broadcasting, accusing the NGO`s which have taken part in the protests against the Parliament’s decision to include in its agenda two law projects, related to the modification of the electoral system, without these being consulted with the general public, civil society and the experts in the field, just as it is expressly stated by law.

The President declared that he ordered one of his advisors to create a so-called ” list of NGO’s, their activities and finances”. The President has not clearly expressed on the scope of this list, and for which reasons it will be used.

We request that the Government’s and Parliament’s representatives to present a clear and argued answer related to the necessity of ceasing the railway courses on the 14th of May, and the necessity of dislocating a significant number of patrolling policemen. Also, we request information from the President of RM in relation to the realization mode and the necessity of the list regarding finances and the activities of the NGO’s, which have taken part in the protest, and the scope of the given list.