Right to free movement in Security Zone is most often violated

The right to free movement in the Security Zone is most often violated. Even if the illegal placing of checkpoints by the Transnistrian administration in the Security Zone and the illegal checking of documents of all the persons who cross the administrative line are ignored, the cases of refusal to allow persons to enter the region or now also to leave it are frequent and mainly undocumented. The dramatic involution witnessed in this case in 2020 is unprecedented and shows who actually holds the control instruments in the Security Zone, says a study commissioned by the Promo-LEX Association.

According to the study, the ban on entrance or leaving of the region imposed by the Transnistrian administration in March 2020 on the pretext of the pandemic affected hundreds of thousands of people from both sides of the Nistru and included the setting up of 37 additional checkpoints in the Security Zone. A dangerous precedent was set when Tiraspol imposed the new rules in the Security Zone and Chisinau accepted them. According to Promo-LEX, Tiraspol, by such an act, assumed the right to later change these rules and the Moldovan constitutional authorities also tacitly accepted this situation.

In a news conference at IPN, Promo-LEX executive director Ion Manole said there were identified no precedents when a newly set up post that wasn’t withdrawn during the first 24 hours following local tensions and the Joint Control Commission’s intervention was later eliminated. When the checkpoints are set up and become operational, they work and effectively perform the task of controlling and restricting trafficking in persons and goods. The real number of such checkpoints is not known.

The study shows the freedom of movement witnessed significant involution that led to an upgrade of the infrastructure of checkpoints in 2003, when the “migration service” was created as part of the so-called minister of the interior and a “migration tax” was simultaneously introduced. For collecting this tax and for monitoring the flow of persons, the checkpoints were supplemented with officers of the newly created service. After almost a decade, the then leader of the region Yevgeny Shevhuck annulled the “migration tax”, while his successor, incumbent leader Vadim Krasnoselsky, withdrew the service’s officers from checkpoints in 2018.

Local councilor Iurie Coțofan said that he was born in the Transnistrian region. The human rights are violated not only in the Security Zone, but all over the Transnistrian region. In the Security Zone in particular, one can see the Transnistrian administration’s “revenge” actions against the Nistru war veterans and persons who seek help from the constitutional authorities to obtain justice or who defend other persons. Starting with 1993, at least 14 gross violations have been committed against him. He was kidnapped by the Transnistrian bodies for several times on different pretexts and was fined, had goods confiscated, etc.

According to Promo-LEX, the Government should initiate consultations with the EU and the member states so as to reintroduce the nominal sanctions against Transnistrian officials who are responsible for the limitation of the free movement and for abusive arrests and detentions, for the persecution of the political opponents and civic activists and for other flagrant violations of human rights, implicitly in the Security Zone. This is vital for stopping the phenomenon of impunity in the territory that is not controlled by the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova.

The conference forms part of IPN’s project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. IPN Agency does not assume the right to decide if the organizers of news conferences are right in the cases about which they will speak as this is the exclusive prerogative of justice, but the exaggeratedly long examination period of these cases, which is much longer than the law allows, can be considered an act of evident unfairness and injustice. IPN News Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences.

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