Promo-LEX: Torture victim in Transnistria risks being deprived of his liberty for reporting abuses by the regime on the left bank of the Dniester River
Nicolae Garmaș, a resident of the Transnistrian region, was sentenced on August 29 by the so-called Tiraspol city court for allegedly complaining about acts of torture committed against him repeatedly by representatives of the ”Transnistrian militia”, Promo-LEX Association reports.
At the same time, Promo-LEX calls on the Moldovan authorities to monitor this case and to intervene promptly and effectively to ensure the man’s fundamental rights and freedoms.
“Following an alleged criminal trial, which lasted more than 20 months, Nicolae Garmas was ‘sentenced’ to one year and six months of deprivation of liberty, the sentence being suspended for two years. In the meantime, his restrictive measure of prohibition to leave the Transnistrian region, imposed in January 2021, remains in force. In the same “criminal trial”, two other charges were fabricated, for alleged theft and alleged use of a false document”, the NGO reports.
Because, according to the alleged local prosecutor’s office in the Transnistrian region, the sentence passed was too lenient, an aggravation of the sentence was requested. Thus, the risk of being deprived of liberty remains “a real and present one”, the association notes.
“Nicolae Garmas is being persecuted by the Transnistrian region’s law enforcement bodies for the simple fact that he dared to complain about the systematic abuses he is subjected to in the Transnistrian region. The sentence passed on him only shows, once again, the inability of the Chisinau authorities to protect the victims of torture in the Transnistrian region”, according to Promo-LEX lawyer Pavel Cazacu.
Thus, Promo-LEX claims that the abuses to which Nicolae Garmas was subjected in this alleged criminal trial “are representative of the majority of criminal cases brought against persons inconvenient to the Tiraspol regime”: illegal searches; illegal deprivation of liberty and detention in inhumane conditions, as well as repeated use of force by representatives of the law enforcement bodies.
“Because the abuses against him have not stopped, because the constitutional authorities have not offered him any help, and because the risk of being deprived of his freedom again remains, a complaint has been sent to the European Court of Human Rights”, Promo-LEX experts point out.
Earlier, Nicolae Garmas, seeking the protection of the constitutional authorities, had referred the matter to the Moldovan and Russian law enforcement bodies. In addition, he has given several press interviews on the right bank of the Dniester River, in which he spoke about the problems faced by the inhabitants of the Transnistrian region, including the phenomenon of torture there.