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.

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