Earlier this week a 27 year old gay man took his own life following an incident of homophobic harrassment by the Moldovan police during the day.
The incident started when a police car arrived at a known “crusing area” in the Moldovan capital Chisinau where only last May, the Liberal Mayor banned Moldova Pride, while allowing an anti-Gay demonstration to proceed. The police asked two men to go with them to the police car, where the two police officers proceeded to verbally abuse and intimidate the two men with homophobic and clearly derogatory remarks.
The incident was witnessed by a male staff member from the Moldovan LGBT organisation Gender Doc-M who saw this incident while he was doing outreach and HIV prevention work. He attempted to intervene on their behalf. The outreach worker contacted the President of Gender-Doc-M whose intervention resulted in their release but not before the police had taken their personal details including their work addresses. Only one of the police officers, Sergiu Gaina, presented his identity, his anonymous colleague was armed.
In their press release Gender Doc-M said that while the precise circumstances of this suicide may never become clear, and it seems clear from the Moldovan police that they will not investigate, this incident as witnessed by one of their outreach workers is consistent with the pattern of police abuse of power towards the LGBT community.
This pattern involves police men knowing the places where LGBT people meet, using their official position to pressure people coming to the cruising areas. This often involves blackmailing or threatening them and detaining them at police stations. High ranking police officials seem to accept or ignore these human rights violations
Gender Doc-M Center have appealed to the Ministry of Interior and General Police Department to investigate such cases and to put an end to the abuse of power but there has never been any reply from the officials.
Clare Dimyon, who recently received an MBE for her “services to promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in central and eastern Europe” and who attended Moldova Pride 2009 and 2010 said:
“I have myself witnessed the injuries of a gay man detained by the police in Moldova and I know I always feel rather nervous dealing with border officials. I will be taking this up with the Moldovan Embassy in London, with my MP and the FCO. I urge others to do likewise. Moldovan LGBT activists are doing the most extraordinary work to protect members of the LGBT community, it is a real privilege to know them. I hope we can keep Moldovan LGBT people and their friends and families in our thoughts at this more than usually difficult time.”
A letter template, directed at the Moldovan Ambassador, will be posted shortly on www.pridesolidarity.eu
by Scott Hart
source – GScene