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Sergiu Litvinenco: Police intervened correctly. Alexandru Postica: CES decision is abusive

The police had conclusive evidence of violation of public order, said Minister of Justice Sergiu Litvinenco. According to him, the police acted strictly in accordance with the decision taken by the Commission for Exceptional Situations (CES) when protesters’ tents were removed from central Chisinau. For his part, expert of Promo-Lex Association Alexandru Postică described the actions of the police as abusive and noted that the people’s right to peacefully assemble was this way violated, IPN reports.

The minister said that in the CES’s meeting, he supported the decision that enables the police to stop a protest if this violates public order and infringes the right to free movement on public streets. Police officers’ actions were proportional to the violations committed by protesters.

“The law on assembly is a very good law. This stipulates that a rally can be stopped by the local public administration and the organizer. We ascertained that even if there were sufficient materials and information showing that public order was seriously disrupted, the local public administration didn’t intervene. By the CES’s decision, it was decreed that when public order is seriously violated and the organizer or the local administration does not stop the rally, this can be done by the police. Based on the CES’s decision, the police took the decision it took as they had conclusive evidence of violation of public order,” Sergiu Litvinenco stated in the talk show “Shadow Cabinet” on JurnalTV channel.

For his part, Promo-Lex expert Alexandru Postica said the given decision is abusive as it limits the freedom of assembly all over Moldova. It is also repetitive as the law on assembly stipulates the police intervention mechanisms.

“If there are corrupt persons in a public institution, in Parliament or in the Government and this fact is ascertained, this automatically makes Parliaments or the Government and the acts they adopted illegal. In the case of a protest, if there are doubts or even evidence that people were paid to stay there, this does not automatically make the protest illegal. Earlier, there were staged protests that some or most of the people considered immoral and the people supported the actions to stop those assemblies taken by the police. In the end, we had ECHR decisions that condemned the police’s actions. The position of Promo-Lex does not come to encourage the corrupting of participants in a protest but as long as the protest is within the law and is peaceful, the police should act in accordance with the law,” stated Alexandru Postica.

Earlier, Ombudsman Ceslav Panico also criticized the CES’s decision. He asked to abrogate or review point 3 of the decision so as to ensure the meeting of the international and national standards concerning the freedom of peaceful assembly and observance of public order and national security. Ceslav Panico noted that the dispersal of protest participants in the evening of October 16 was arbitrary in character.

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