In its first periodic report the Freedom Moldova Foundation called attention that the activity of the Penitentiary No.13 is marked by a large number of complaints and scandals related to cruel treatment of arrestees and convicted inmates by the penitentiary administration, and related to limitation of their basic rights. Many different detainees in the Penitentiary No.13, their lawyers, non-governmental organizations and the People’s Advocate (ombudsman) repeatedly reported that the detention conditions in the Penitentiary No.13 fail to meet the minimum requirements, and the Penitentiary No.13 administration establishes in fact the orders toughening the existing instructions of the Code of Corrections and other regulations.

The biggest human rights violation, which on can imagine, is tortures, and the Penitentiary No.13 was also repeatedly accused that it applies different types of tortures (including physical) to prisoners. So, earlier it was reported about deprivation of the prisoner of drinking water , about confining them in basement cells in brutal conditions, about their deprivation of elementary essentials . Some employees of Penitentiary No.13 were accused by Military prosecutor's office and were tried for torturing prisoners.

Flagrant confirmation to the fact that the situation in the Penitentiary No.13 continues to worsen has been received the other day. It is about the most cruel, dangerous and brutal form of torture – beating of detainees.

Mass media reported on 05.06.2017 that there were searches in the Penitentiary No.13 on 03.06.2017, in the result of which several forbidden objects were found, in the consequence of that the unspecified number (according to our data more than twenty people) of allegedly guilty persons from among inmates were beaten by the Ministry of Justice’s Pantera SWAT officers. A part of beaten detainees were underaged.

Information on the fact of use of physical force to underaged detainees was confirmed by the employees of the Ombudsman for Children, who had personally visited Penitentiary No.13.

The Freedom Moldova Foundation deems it absolutely inadmissible that the administration of penitentiary institutions, which already have sufficient leverage on detainees whose rights are already significantly limited, resorted to violence, SWAT and tortures. What happened has become possible only under the passive eye of all institutions responsible for the state of affairs in law enforcement and penitentiaries, first of all, the Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Pantera SWAT is even more often used for intimidation, brute force applied not only towards prisoners, but also towards media representatives, civic activists, lawyers during high-profile trials (Platon’s case, Filat’s case, earlier case of the so-called “Petrenco's group”).

It is revealing that nobody has voiced the position of the Penitentiary No.13 administration on this outrageous example, and we learn about it only from the reports of the third parties. The latest news in the website section “The Chisinau Penitentiary No.13” was posted in October 2016 (!). The Ministry of Justice has disregarded the event. In the news section on its website, the Department of Penitentiaries made the only one (!) remark “The Department of Penitentiaries informs that several cases of disobedience by detainees, including the underaged inmates, of legal and reasonable demands of the penitentiary personnel have been registered during security procedures”.

The Freedom Moldova Foundation resolutely condemns use of physical force against detainees by representatives of the Department of Penitentiaries and the Pantera SWAT, and insists on the fastest investigation of such facts.

June 7, 2017.
Published at 12-06-2017, 15:22.

Published at 24-05-2017, 12:14.

On World Press Freedom Day the Freedom Moldova Foundation sincerely congratulates all honest, professional media employees in Moldova, both the broadcasting and electronic media, and the representatives of the traditional print media.

Freedom Moldova believes it worth remarking difficult conditions and numerous obstacles the journalists have to face daily.
In recent years such obstacles became, first of all, undisguised monopolization of the media market and censorship turned out to be a consequence of monopolization.

The main objective of the press – to communicate significant, accurate information to people – is blocked because the largest TV channels in the country belong to the only one person, Vlad Plahotniuc, forming a holding with the uniform editorial policy, controlled by the founder. This policy disregards pluralism of opinions, as a rule, hardly involves unbiased coverage of the situation, and breaks laws and journalistic ethics, for the only purpose – to distract society from real problems, from control of the authorities.

The above-stated holding boosts even more its income and opportunities due to the monopolized market of advertising and compulsory distribution of advertising between TV channels and other media of the country for its own benefit. In such conditions the main objective of the press becomes almost impracticable in our country.

Additional difficulty is unwillingness of the authorities to cooperate with the media, refusal in access to information at the level of all branches of the power. The legislature forbids access to the parliament chamber, the judiciary withholds information on day and time of court sessions, on the court judgments (moreover, the higher profile of the case, the more carefully it is guarded from the press, up to court sessions in camera). Executive power, despite the fact that every ministry, department and law-enforcement agency has established the position of “press officer”, ignores questions and addresses of journalists, preferring laconic, empty answers and press releases. This notwithstanding, speculations with “the right to protection of personal data” have reached the inconceivable sizes – while all the law-enforcement agencies freely obtain any personal data of citizens, using them in the most different purposes, the media is persistently regarded as the main enemy of this right.

In spite of the fact that many international and local organizations report year after year that “there are no improvements” or even “degradation” of indicators in the field of media freedom, the authorities reluctantly undertake measures to improve the situation, while the competent public authorities such as courts of law, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council, and others repeatedly showed that they are not on the journalists’ side in their hard business.
Moreover, for the attempts to honestly do their work the journalists are not only judicially penalized, but also are subjected to persecution, surveillance, intimidation, as it was reported about by our Foundation as well.

Freedom Moldova emphasizes that it will continue further monitoring the state of media freedom in the Republic of Moldova, and reacting to any attempts of intimidation, prosecution or limitation of the rights of journalists.

May 3, 2017
Published at 4-05-2017, 09:49.

Published at 23-03-2017, 22:07.

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