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Moldovan NGOs March Against Police Abuse, Torture

Rights activists march against police brutality in Moldova.
Rights activists march against police brutality in Moldova.
Activists from several Moldovan human rights groups have held a march in downtown Chisinau to protest police brutality which, they say, in many cases amounts to torture, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Members of Amnesty International's Moldovan branch handed the Prosecutor-General's Office a petition with thousands of signatures calling for a thorough investigation of allegations of torture, especially after the contested elections on April 5 when hundreds of protesters were detained and many claimed to have been beaten by police.

A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL that in the last 10 weeks the office has received 70 complaints of postelection police brutality and six of them led to formal charges being made.

Vladimir Turcanu, a Communist Party member in charge of a government commission set up to look into election violence, told RFE/RL that police are "only human," and he claimed that in the April clashes 274 police were injured.

Moldovan human rights activists claim that some 600 people were detained by the police during the April protests, but the Interior Ministry says there were about 300.