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Amnesty Slams School Closures In Transdniester

18 August 2004 -- Amnesty International yesterday hit out at a decision by pro-Russian authorities in the breakaway Transdniester region of Moldova to close schools that teach in Romanian.

The international human rights body slammed the move as a violation of the "right to freedom of expression."

In a written statement, Amnesty said it "calls on the authorities of the self-proclaimed Dniester Republic to respect the right to freedom of expression of pupils, parents, and teachers of Moldovan schools which use Latin script."

The Russian-speaking Transdniester broke away from Romanian-speaking Moldova in 1990.

Last month, the authorities in Transdniester ordered the closure of all schools in the region that teach in Romanian. Some 4,300 students in Transdniester attend schools where Romanian is the language of instruction.