Russian activist’s case in Moldova deliberately stalled

The investigation into the case of a Russian activist, detained in Moldova on charges of instigating riots, is being deliberately stalled, Russia’s ambassador to Chisinau said.

Eduard Bagirov was detained on June 16 on suspicion of organizing mass riots in Moldova in spring 2009. A court ruled that Bagirov must remain in custody pending trial.

“Moldovan investigation authorities have failed to provide any evidence of Bagirov’s involvement so far. Numerous visit requests by our consul were either turned down or answered too late, let alone our requests to release him” ambassador Valery Kuzmin said.

“This causes perplexity and make us think that Bagirov’s case is being deliberately stalled, and he is a hostage to Moldova’s internal political struggle,” the Russian diplomat added.

On April 7, 2009, a crowd of protesters forced their way into the parliament building and the presidential administration. Some analysts say the events in Moldova were a “Twitter revolution,” or a spontaneous uprising against the Communist regime, while others maintain it was a thoroughly planned coup.

The ambassador said that “the long-term detention of Bagirov, who even wasn’t in Chisinau during the riots, looks absurd anyway.”

“It looks even more absurd when we learn that the real participants of the events, who appear on the footage from the parliament square, have not even been summoned to testify in the case,” Kuzmin said.

He said the Moldovan authorities should release Bagirov under a written pledge not to leave and stop “creating an unnecessary irritant in bilateral relations.”

Bagirov wrote in his blog that during nearly four months of his detention he was interrogated only once for some 20 minutes.

The Russian Public Chamber said in late June the blogger is being held in a Chisinau pretrial detention facility in conditions that do not comply with international standards. Later, Bagirov was transferred to Chisinau’s Prison 13.

Russia to press for release of activist held in Moldova

Moscow will continue to press for the release of Eduard Bagirov, a Russian activist, blogger and writer detained in Moldova in June on charges of instigating riots, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

“The Russian side is seriously concerned by the Moldovan judicial authorities’ decision to extend Bagirov’s custody for another 30 days,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

Eduard Bagirov was detained on June 16 on suspicion of organizing mass riots in Moldova on April 7, 2009, when a crowd of protesters forced their way into the parliament building and the presidential administration. A court ruled that Bagirov must remain in custody pending trial.

Bagirov wrote in his blog that during his 90-day detention he was interrogated only once for some 20 minutes.

On Tuesday he said that he would go on hunger strike starting from Wednesday to protest his detention.

The Russian Public Chamber said in late June the blogger is being held in a Chisinau pretrial detention facility in conditions that do not comply with international standards. Later, Bagirov was transferred to Chisinau’s Prison 13.