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Journalist's Wife Decries International 'Indifference'


Armenia -- Supporters of jailed journalist Ernest Vardanian protest in front of the Russian Embassy, Yerevan, 11May2010

Armenia -- Supporters of jailed journalist Ernest Vardanian protest in front of the Russian Embassy, Yerevan, 11May2010

The wife of independent journalist Ernest Vardanian, who is jailed
in Moldova's separatist Transdniester region, has told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service
that the international community has become indifferent to the fate of her
husband.

Ernest Vardanian was arrested last month in his hometown Tiraspol on charges of
treason, and is awaiting trial on charges of high treason. If found
guilty he could face up to 20 years in prison.

On May 11, Vardanian was shown on Transdniester's official television channel providing a Stalinesque
confession to charges of having spied for Moldova. His family and
friends say the confession was forced.

Moldova's authorities, the United States, the European Union, and human
rights organizations
have decried the denial of Vardanian's basic rights and called for his release.

But Vardanian's wife Irina told RFE/RL by phone from Tiraspol last week that lately nobody seems to be interested in her husband's fate.

She said she had written dozens of letters, including one to Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev -- who is believed to have huge influence over the leaders of
Transdniester -- but has received no response.

The Moldovan lawyers who had offered to help her, she said, have stopped taking
her calls.

Irina Vardanean told RFE/RL she will ask Transdniester's self-styled president,
Igor Smirnov, to pardon her husband because "the rest of the world has
forgotten us."

Compiled by RFE/RL's O wire.
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