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Attacks on civil society, independent media and opposition in the Republic of Moldova must end

Written declaration No. 669 | Doc. 14819 | 24 January 2019

Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr André GATTOLIN, France, NR ; Ms Zdeňka HAMOUSOVÁ, Czech Republic, ALDE ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Alan KELLY, Ireland, SOC ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Miroslav NENUTIL, Czech Republic, SOC ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Frédéric REISS, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Virendra SHARMA, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Jiři VALENTA, Czech Republic, UEL ; Mr Mart van de VEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

According to the latest Report on the implementation of the European Union Association Agreement with Moldova (A8-0322/2018) adopted by the European Parliament, the Republic of Moldova remains trapped by oligarchic interests, with economic and political power in the hands of Vlad Plahotniuc exerting his influence on parliament, the government and State administration, police, judiciary and media.

We are deeply concerned that the abuse of power of the country’s parliament, used to persecute the leading opposition parties, judges, lawyers and international NGOs struggling for the rule of law and human rights, constitutes a serious harm for the reputation of the Moldovan authorities.

The recent attacks on the Open Dialogue Foundation and its leader, Lyudmyla Kozlovska, including a large defamation campaign, a parliamentary investigation commission and, possibly, a criminal prosecution, set a dangerous precedent paving the way for similar persecution of other critical organisations. It is an urgent warning for the European and international community.

We fully support the call of the European Parliament to the Moldovan authorities to address these concerns. The persecutions must immediately end or those responsible for them have to be held accountable, including Magnitsky-like sanctions for violating both local laws and the country’s international obligations, while benefiting from the widespread corruption.