Thousands protest against corruption in Chisinau

Peaceful Assembly

On 26th August 2018, thousands rallied at the Great National Assembly Square in Chișinău, Moldova's capital. Participants of the protest chanted "down with the Government, down with the mafia" to denounce government corruption. People's discontent regarding government policies has increased in recent months, especially after a court judgment which nullified a victory by opposition leader Andrei Năstase in Chisinau's mayoral elections. The incident saw people on the streets for several days in June 2018 as reported by the Monitor. 

A counter-protest was organised by supporters of Ilan Sor, a politician and businessperson who was convicted for masterminding a 1 million USD theft that almost bankrupted Moldova. Although no major incidents took place during the rallies, the police intervened to separate both protests. On the morning of 27th August 2018, riot police forcefully removed the remaining protesters. 

Expression

Several media organisations voiced their concern about restricting TV8  journalists' access to a press briefing of the Democratic Party of Moldova on 14th September 2018. The organisations believe the restriction is based on the ruling party's disagreement with the editorial policy of the media outlet. The organisations claimed that journalists from other media outlets were allow to cover the briefing and condemned:

[T]he selective admission of journalists to public events, and we qualify them as unacceptable for any political party, but especially for a ruling party that qualifies itself as an adept of democratic values."

In a separate incident, a Radio Free Europe journalist was assaulted by Ilan Sor supporters during the counter-protest on 26th August 2018, as reported in the Peaceful Assembly section above. 

Association

In September 2018 several events organised by civil society took place in Moldova. One of the events, organised by the Center for Legal Resources of the Republic of Moldova (CRJM) was a training for civil society organisations outside the capital city, to access funds provided through the "2% mechanism". As previously explained on the Monitor, the mechanism allows individuals in Moldova to designate 2% of their income tax to nongovernmental organisations. 

The GROW conference, organised by regional organisation Piligrim-Demo took place at the end of September 2018 in Gagauzia and gathered representatives from local civil society, journalists, national and foreign experts to discuss the development of CSOs. The GROW Conference is a discussion and a debate platform for Gagauzian civil society issues to which local authorities are invited to take part in.