Moldova Crisis Update, April 13
BUCHAREST -- The political crisis in Moldova is deepening. The rift between the government and state authories, on one hand, and the opposition and civil society, on the other, is growing by the day. There are now two radically different stories and messages sent both to the Moldovan population and to the world. It is important that both voices are heard, and that all events are looked into and analyzed seriously. President Voronin continues to accuse Romania of involvement in violent protests of April 7, yet providing no evidence.
In a recent interview in the Spanish El Pais, the President said that Serbian citizens (also referred to as"Yugoslavians") were also involved:"At the entrance of the Parliament we photographed a Yugoslavian with documents of a North American institution. On April 7 there have been seven Serbians leading the events together with intelligence services from Romania." Prime Minister Greceanii appealed to parents to forbid their children to join protests as"horrible things are happening in Moldova." She threatened the police would have to use force if the protests would turn violent again. By now, adults have joined youth in protesting.
At yesterday's rally, which gathered around 4,000 <oldovans in center of Chisinau, protesters were much older than those of a few days ago. Women also gathered in protest three days ago, praying for those arrested by the police and asking for their release. The opposition and civil society, lately joined by a couple of international organizations and the U.S. Ambassador to Moldova, are denouncing the arrests that followed the protests. To add to this, news about intimidation of journalists abounds. Maltreatment and torture committed these days by the police are being documented by various organizations. One death from injuries has been reported, and many are still missing. A Committee of mothers of children injured by police in the last week has been formed, and it numbers 100 members already. Many schools have closed as principals were told they would be held responsible for their students' participation to protests.
Teleradio Moldova and four private channels are only broadcasting the authorities' version of the events, and they are the main TV and radio channels in the country. A week after the first protests, the situation is not calmer, and reports about abuses continue to arrive. It is important that governments and international organizations listen to all sides involved: Moldovan authorities, civil society, journalists, opposition, and mothers of those arrested, and that all of their grievances are considered. The EU needs to pay attention to Moldova, ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
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