Reports continued of prison conditions amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment; impunity for torture and other ill-treatment; and unfair trials. Religious and other minorities faced discrimination, in the absence of legislation to prevent it.
Conditions in pre-trial detention and during transfer between detention centres and the courts frequently amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Trials against police officers accused of torture and other ill-treatment during post-election demonstrations in April 2009 continued. On 2 March 2011, Valentin Zubic, former deputy minister of the interior, was charged with misconduct in connection with the events. A government representative told the UN Human Rights Council during the discussion of Moldova at the Universal Periodic Review that there were 100 complaints following the events, 57 of which resulted in formal investigations, 27 cases resulted in prosecutions, and only two of those led to convictions.
In its report to the UN Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review, the Parliamentary Advocates for Human Rights of Moldova (the Ombudsman) stated that 25 per cent of all complaints received by the Ombudsman concerned unfair trials. The most frequent were failure to examine cases within a reasonable time, limited access to a qualified lawyer, non-enforcement of court decisions, and violations of procedural rules by courts. According to a survey conducted in May by the Institute for Public Policies, only 1 per cent of respondents had complete confidence in the justice system, and 42 per cent had no confidence at all.
On 3 November, Parliament approved an ambitious justice reform package for the court system, police and prosecutors. Measures included increasing the efficiency and independence of the judiciary; bringing the role of prosecutors into line with European standards; improving legal aid; reducing corruption; and improving respect for human rights.Top of page
A draft law on discrimination was submitted to Parliament in February but had not been approved by the end of the year. Opposition remained to a provision in the law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. The law failed to provide for clear complaint mechanisms and adequate sanctions.
In September, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief reported that members of religious minorities faced intimidation and vandalism from followers of the Orthodox Church. He criticized the 2007 Law on Religious Denominations for according the Moldovan Orthodox Church “special importance and a leading role” which had led to discrimination against other faiths.
The self-proclaimed Transdniestrian Republic remained a separate, but internationally unrecognized, entity within Moldova.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force for Moldova in January. However, the State failed to ratify the accompanying Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court by the end of the year, and no steps had been taken to bring national legislation into line with the statute’s provisions.Top of page