Accessibility links

Breaking News

Watchdog

Police officers clash with demonstrators during anti-communist demonstrations in Chisinau on April 7.
Moldova's general-prosecutor says an investigation into postelection protests in Chisinau last spring shows that some special forces fired live ammunition, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Valeriu Zubco said today that an investigation has been launched into an alleged shooting incident that occurred in downtown Chisinau the night following the April 7 protests.

Prosecutors said a special force police officer opened fire on a passing car near the Presidential Office where the protests took place several hours before.

The report that live bullets were used contradicts previous accounts by former Communist Party authorities that no bullets were shot during the protests, which turned violent and left at least two dead.

Former President Vladimir Voronin, of the Communist Party, has long rejected suggestions that the police were allowed to use their guns on protesters.

The mass protests which saw the Presidential Office and the parliament building heavily damaged by angry protesters were followed by the arrest of more than 250 young people, many of whom were detained for several days or weeks and complained of abuse or ill-treatment while arrested.

After the pro-Western Alliance for European Integration won repeat elections on July 29 last year, the general-prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged acts of police abuse.
An Iranian man who was arrested more than a month before Iran's June election has been sentenced to death after being included in a mass trial for detainees linked to the postelection protests, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ahmad Karimi was convicted of "moharebeh" -- or "war against God" -- before he was sentenced on February 11.

Fatemeh Baqcheh-Qazi, Karimi's mother, told Radio Farda that her son had accepted a job in the United States in 2008 and went to the Iraqi Kurdish region on his way to America. But he was unable to proceed and returned home to work as a carpenter.

His mother said Karimi was arrested by Intelligence Ministry officers several months after returning to Iran and forced to make a false confession.

Baqcheh-Qazi says her son is not at all politically active.

She asked, "If he was into politics, why would he work as a carpenter?" Baqcheh-Qazi said she went to the President's Office, the Office of the Supreme Leader, and the Judiciary to inquire about her son's case but has not received a reply.

Karimi's family has also written a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging him to inquire about her son's case.

Karimi is at least the third detainee who has been put on trial with people arrested after the election even though he was detained weeks before the election.

On January 19, two men were executed after being found guilty in a trial with a group of postelection detainees despite having been arrested weeks before the election.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Subscribe

Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More

XS
SM
MD
LG