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Twitter Activist Could Be Charged With Extreme Violence

Natalia Morar

Natalia Morar

RFE/RL's Moldovan Service correspondent Vasile Botnaru interviewed journalist Natalia Morar's lawyer, Natalia Molosag, about what President Vladimir Voronin's call for an amnesty for the scores of people arrested after postelection protests in Chisinau will mean for Morar, who is under house arrest as one of the organizers of the protest.

RFE/RL: What's the latest information you have on Morar's case?

Natalia Molosag: At this point we don't have any information about any concrete measures being taken [to release protesters], not only concerning Natalia, but in general, for all of those arrested. Nothing has changed for us. Today we didn't participate in any pretrial activities, the prosecutors have not contacted us.... I don't know how to view this...whether the [president's] speech [about an amnesty] has had any effect or not. [Natalia Morar] is still under house arrest.

RFE/RL: Did you try to initiate some kind of [process] after the president's speech [requesting an amnesty for protesters]?

Molosag: No. Before that speech I was going to file a request for the cancellation of the charges against Natalia, because we don't believe there is any element of a crime [in those charges]. But at this moment I still haven't handed in that request.

RFE/RL: But what are the charges against Natalia?

Molosag: She is charged with [setting up] a mass disturbance.

RFE/RL: You mean organizing the protests?

Molosag: Yes...but I'm worried that these charges were brought against her under article 2 [of the criminal code], which covers extreme violence, [such as] pogroms, in which she definitely did not take part.

RFE/RL: Is Natalia being tried in the same case as the other organizers of the protests?

Molosag: Yes, it is a collective file. She is in a group with many, many other suspects. Some of them have been charged already, others are just suspects. None of them have been indicted so far.

RFE/RL: And they're all under house arrest?

Molosag: No. Just one is [Morar]. Journalist Gennady Brega from the same group [of detained protesters] is banned from leaving the city by an order from the prosecution.