Restrictions imposed due to pandemic generated human rights violations, IDOM

The restrictions imposed during the state of emergency in the Republic of Moldova generated a series of human rights violations. Besides the ambiguousness of politicians’ decisions, the people weren’t informed about the things that should be done to obey particular rules. As some of the norms were unclear, arbitrary decisions were taken. The Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) created a cell crisis that would intervene swiftly to help those who consider their rights were violated. The conclusions of an IDOM report on the issue were presented in a news conference at IPN.

IDOM project director Vanu Jereghi reminded that in April-May, when the Moldovan citizens returned in a large number from abroad, they were obliged to sign a statement whereby to pledge that they will pay the mandatory health insurance policy during 72 hours and will self-isolate for 14 days. These two decisions were contradictory as the person could not leave home to purchase a health policy. The very heavy fines were a problem. Pensioners were obliged to pay such fines because they went to the shop to buy bread. The state didn’t offer assistance to the persons who were obliged to self-isolate. Therefore, the IDOM went to the Constitutional Court and the fines were diminished as a result of the Court’s decision.

Vanu Jereghi mentioned a number of discriminatory decisions taken by the authorities. One of them is allowing private kindergartens to start work much earlier than the state ones. The IDOM asked the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring of Equality to ascertain discrimination according to the social criteria.

According to Alexandru Cebanaș, IDOM lawyer, violations of the right to health were identified both through the hotline set up by the IDOM and during field trips. In one case, a person was refused to be offered medial services at the Orhei District Hospital because she was mentally ill and should have been treated at another hospital. Consequently, the woman died. There were violated all the guarantees for ensuring the right to health and medical assistance. As the person was in a serious state, this should have been hospitalized immediately and all the resources should have been employed to save the patient’s life.

In another case, a man diagnosed with COVID-19 for several times was taken by an ambulance to the Bălți Municipal Hospital, but wasn’t hospitalized for the reason that there were no free places. The IDOM found out that other persons were admitted to the hospital in the period and the criterion for selecting persons who are admitted or not is not clear.

The IDOM report contains a series of recommendations on each finding, the authorities being urged to familiarize themselves with them.

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