Government seeks release of journalist arrested in Tiraspol

The Government of Moldova sent a letter to Tiraspol by which it expresses its concern about the arrest by the Transnistrian security forces of journalist and politologist Sergei Ilchenko and demands that this should be set free. The journalist was arrested on March 18 and is accused of extremism based on his comments on social networking sites and his positions expressed at forums in Transnistria, IPN reports.

Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Victor Osipov, in an interview for Radio Free Europe, said that by the letter sent to the political representative of Tiraspol, Chisinau demands that the human rights and the access to a fair remedy be respected and that Sergei Ilchenko should be released. “We transmitted this message through the agency of the political representative to the negotiation process and hope that it will be treated with attention and will be taken into account by Tiraspol,” he stated.

Sergei Ilchenko works in Transnistria. The Transnistria administration placed him temporarily under arrest and confiscated a part of his property. On March 27, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the arrest of the journalist. By a press statement signed by the organization’s regional director Nina Ognianova, the Transnistrian authorities are asked to immediately release the journalist, to restore the confiscated goods and to stop harassing Sergei Ilchenko and his family.

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