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Moldovan Former Minister Says Police Are Communist 'Tool'

CHISINAU -- Former Interior Minister Victor Catan has told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that the police are being used as a tool of the ruling Communist Party.

Catan was making reference to a peaceful rally on February 4 at which police did not intervene after attacks by masked men left several protesters injured.

Catan -- who was interior minister from 1992-1997 -- said that police in the past helped "safeguard the country's integrity and independence" but that they are now "just playing politics."

Several NGOs and human rights organizations have condemned police "inactivity" when it comes to protecting protesters. They have also expressed concern over the safety of voters during the April 5 parliamentary elections.