Study finds poor human rights advocacy and implementation in Transnistria


Human rights are poorly advocated and defended in the Transnistrian region, due to restricted areas of activity for civil society organizations. Respect for human in this territory isn’t monitored by any specialized local, national, or international institution. The data comes from a study by Promo-LEX concerning the state of affairs in Transnistria in the first half of the year, which was presented Thursday, August 16, through a press conference, IPN reports.

The study reminds that Promo-LEX members were banned from Transnistria in 2015, and the few independent organizations in the region are under strict surveillance from the alleged local security service. Public policy and strategies on human rights, adopted by Moldovan constitutional authorities, do not reach their goals. The Tiraspol administration doesn’t assume responsibility for the heavy human rights abuses it commits.

The study shows that in the first half of the year the Russian Federation continued to play a decisive role in strengthening the Tiraspol regime, by providing social, economical, political, and military support, against international law. Russia has allotted humanitarian aid of 435 million rubles to the region. The Operational Group of Russian Forces has continued lecturing the region’s youth on patriotism, has trained the students of Tiraspol’s “Suvoroff school”, parades without restrictions, and conducts military drills.

Non-transparent granting of Russian citizenship to residents in the region is still a common trend. At the beginning of the year, the procedure to obtain this citizenship has been simplified. The press has published testimonies that in eastern settlements the procedure to gain Russian citizenship is encouraged and favored. This information, however, can’t be verified, as the territory remains closed for monitoring. The new Russian citizens are enrolled into paramilitary structures, aren’t protected against abuse, and aren’t protected when their rights are violated.

The study also mentions that, in the first half of the year, Moldovan President Igor Dodon has met with several Russian officials, yet observance of human rights in the Transnistrian region hasn’t been among the subjects discussed, although Promo-LEX had submitted requests in this regard. The authors of the study remind of the visit to the region by UN expert Thomas Hammarberg, who pointed out a large number of arrests and detentions, as well as poor detention conditions. Family abuse is widely spread. The situation of the Roma minority has been appraised as grave and worrisome.

According to the study, there is no dialogue between the OSCE Mission in Moldova and NGOS. The mission avoids any contact with the NGOs that have signed statements signaling grave issues in the Transnistrian region. In the monitoring period, the Tiraspol administration has made several controversial decisions. One of them prohibited foreign organization specialists to provide treatment for patients with dangerous diseases. Another decision with negative impact was the amending of the “Customs Code” and the implementation of the so-called “road tax”. The “Law on investments in the Transnistrian region” has come into effect on a background of abuse of local entrepreneurs by local law enforcement bodies.

“Our mission, as an organization, and as defenders of human rights, is to monitor – at least from afar – the state of human rights in the region. We must continue sounding the alarm, as this territory is still inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people who have the same rights as us,” added Promo-LEX president Ion Manole.

The study was conducted under the “Human Rights Advocacy in the Transnistrian Region of Moldova”, implemented by Promo-LEX, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The release of the study was organized with the financial support of NED and the Open Society Foundations.