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Moldova: Government May Try To Outlaw Protests

Chisinau, 21 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Weeks of protests in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, may lead the government to try to outlaw the demonstrations. Moldovan Justice Minister Ion Morei told RFE/RL today that his government plans to ask the country's Supreme Court to outlaw anticommunist rallies organized by the opposition Popular Party Christian Democratic (PPCD). He said the demonstrations were not authorized by the state and that the party was encouraging minors to take part.

Some 30,000 students and other young people demonstrated once again today, protesting laws elevating the status of the Russian language in Moldova, chanting anti-Communist slogans and accusing the government of imposing "Russification."

Chisinau Mayor Serafim Urechean today urged authorities to reconsider the controversial measures, including the Education Ministry's decisions to make the Russian language a requirement in the nation's schools and to remove Romanian history from the curriculum.

Morei denied early reports that the government has considered suspending the measures.