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Moldovan NGOs Warn Of Pre-Election Rights Violations

CHISINAU -- A group of Moldovan NGOs said today that police are becoming increasingly active in "curtailing or helping curtail basic civil rights" ahead of the April 5 parliamentary elections.

Coallition 2009, which was formed to monitor election campaigning, strongly condemned an incident outside the Prosecutor-General's Office in Chisinau on February 3 when masked men attacked a peaceful human rights rally.

The NGOs said the police failed to protect the protesters and are directly reponsible for the incident.

Coallition 2009 said this incident and others are clear examples of the increasing "regime brutality" ahead of the general elections.

On February 4, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau asked Moldova's government to ensure fair election campaigning, free of intimidation, and with equal access to the media for all candidates.