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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                  

Republic of Moldova

Prisoners and detainees have experienced maltreatment and torture. Prosecution for such offenses is rare, and very few of those convicted in torture cases receive prison sentences. Officials and officers responsible for April 2009 acts of torture and ill-treatment against post-election protesters remain largely uninvestigated and unsentenced.

  [Freedom House Country Report, 2020]

Description: Description: Moldova

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Moldova.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Moldova

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 29 July 2021]


In Transnistria abductions by “security forces” became more common throughout the year. Between October 6 and 8, there were reports of at least four abductions of Moldovan citizens from their homes in the Security Zone, including two Moldovan government employees, by Transnistrian “state security.” After initially refusing to acknowledge or comment on the incident, separatist “authorities” acknowledged the “arrest” of the two Moldovan government employees and released them on October 8. The others remained in separatist custody (see section 1.d.).

There were also reports throughout the year of the disappearances of ordinary Moldovan citizens and Transnistria residents in the Transnistrian region. On August 31, Moldovan citizen Constantin Mamontov disappeared while passing through Transnistria on his way from Ukraine to government-controlled territory in Moldova. After Moldovan government authorities requested information from separatist “authorities” on Mamontov’s whereabouts on September 4, the “authorities” finally confirmed Mamontov’s detention on September 10.


While the law prohibits such practices, the antitorture prosecution office reported allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, mainly in detention facilities. Reports included cases of mistreatment in pretrial detention centers in police stations, particularly in regional police inspectorates. Impunity persisted and the number of prosecutions for torture initiated was far below the number of complaints filed.

The Office of the Prosecutor General’s antitorture division reported a decrease in mistreatment and torture cases during the year. During the first six months of the year, prosecutors received 262 allegations of mistreatment and torture, which included 241 cases of mistreatment, eight torture cases, and nine cases of law enforcement using threats or intimidation, including the actual or threatened use of violence, to coerce a suspect or witness to make a statement. In comparison authorities reported 456 allegations of mistreatment and torture during the first six months of 2019.


Pretrial Detention: The law permits pretrial detention for up to 30 days, which the courts may extend, upon the request of prosecutors, in 30-day increments for up to 12 months, depending on the severity of the charges. Pretrial detention lasting from several months to one year was common.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 15 May 2020]


Prisoners and detainees have experienced maltreatment and torture. Prosecution for such offenses is rare, and very few of those convicted in torture cases receive prison sentences. Officials and officers responsible for April 2009 acts of torture and ill-treatment against post-election protesters remain largely uninvestigated and unsentenced.

Many of those involved in the highly publicized case of Andrei Braguța, who was beaten to death by cellmates while in police custody in 2017 after a minor traffic violation, have not yet been adequately sentenced. However, one guard and one prisoner were sentenced in July 2019.

Overcrowding and inhuman conditions are common in Moldovan prisons. Healthcare in pretrial and penitentiary institutions remains very poor. In this respect the case of terminally ill Serghei Cosovan, a businessman arrested in 2017, has attracted national and international attention; following months of activism on his behalf, Cosovan was released in November 2019.

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Moldova

Executive Summary, 15 September 2020

[accessed 15 September 2020]


The CPT is pleased to note that further progress has been made since its 2015 visit as regards the treatment of detained persons by the police. In the course of the visit, the delegation received hardly any allegations of recent physical ill-treatment by police officers. However, the considerable number of cases of alleged police ill-treatment reported to the Special Unit at the Prosecutor General’s Office to combat torture and ill-treatment and their recent increase leave no room for complacency. The CPT recommends that the Moldovan authorities pursue their efforts to combat ill-treatment of detained persons by police officers and remain vigilant concerning any information indicative of ill-treatment.

Response of the Government of the Republic of Moldova to the report

Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 14 April 2021 -- CPT/Inf (2021) 6

[accessed 14 April 2021]

Regarding the situation of excessively tight handcuffs, invoked by the CPT, please note that the handcuffs that are currently in police’s equipment are of the chain type, which easily allows the handcuffed person to tighten them more intensely causing intentional trauma. The police, following the last undertaken study visits, concluded that the application of padlock handcuffs by its counterparts in other states reduces the risk of injury, compared to chain-type ones. In these circumstances, it was proposed to gradually replace the handcuffs in the police units.

Report to the Government of the Republic of Moldovaon the visit to the Republic of Moldovacarried out by the European Committeeforthe Prevention of Torture and Inhumanor Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)from 5 to 11 June 2018

Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 13 December 2018

[accessed 17 May 2019]


60.  The  findings  and  observations  made  in  the  course  of  the 2018 visit  only  reinforce  the findings from previous CPT visits to Moldova. It is clear that, as a remnant from the Soviet past, the phenomenon of an informal prisoner hierarchy in the Moldovan prison system has flourished into a profit-oriented criminal enterprise. Moreover, it  is  not  evident  that  the  relevant  authorities  fully  appreciate  the  extent  of  this deep-rooted problem,  nor  do  they  seem  to  be  aware  of  the  grave  consequences which  informal prisoner hierarchies may have on the entire prison system, and indeed society as a whole. The CPT is  convinced  that  until  such  time  as this  phenomenon  has  been  effectively  tackled, for  a  large proportion of inmates imprisonment will only serve to ensure that, upon release, they are even less capable  of  coping  in  the  outside  law-abiding  community  and,  if  returned  to  prison, even  more dependent on the prison subculture.  In the CPT’s view, it is high time that the Moldovan authorities  took  determined  action throughout  the  prison  system  to  guarantee  the  security  and  safety  of  prisoners.  In  particular,  this will require putting an end to the reliance on the informal prisoner hierarchy to maintain good order in  prisons,  putting in  place  a  system  of  appropriate  distribution  and  classification  of  prisoners, setting up an effective recruitment and training system for prison staff and ensuring continuous staff supervision (including at night) in detention areas.

Committee against Torture considers the report of the Republic of Moldova

Committee against Torture, 8 November 2017

[accessed 9 November 2017]

In the ensuing discussion, Experts noted positive developments in the legal framework, such as amendments to the Criminal Code to increase penalties for acts of torture, and assurances that neither amnesty nor any statute of limitations were applicable to the crime of torture.  Other improvements included the adoption of the joint order and regulation on identification and reporting of cases of alleged torture, and the establishment of the new national torture prevention mechanism.  Experts raised concerns about the application of the Convention in Transnistria, the lack of statistics on cases of torture, the high level of impunity for alleged cases of torture, the applicability of the Convention, torture and ill treatment in police detention facilities, the national torture prevention mechanism, and fundamental legal safeguards for persons deprived of their liberty.  Questions were also raised on the independence of the judiciary and the problem of corruption, the use of excessive force and possible torture in connection with the April 2009 events, trafficking in persons and child trafficking, domestic violence and rape, asylum seekers, hazing in the military, management of temporary detention centres, detention conditions, prison overcrowding and the use of solitary confinement, forced chemical castration, compensation for victims, training of medical personnel, law enforcement officers and judges, the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and discrimination against the Roma community.

Torture in Moldova

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (irct)

Developed in collaboration with the Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (RCTV Memoria), June 2014

[accessed 23 June 2015]

[accessed 31 July 2017]

Torture is still used in Moldova, as well as in the Transnistrian region, despite increasing government efforts to crackdown on the perpetrators of torture. While the number of reported torture acts has decreased throughout the years, it is estimated that the number of instances remains higher than reported due to lack of trust in the judicial system.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/CR/30/7 (2003)

[accessed 4 March 2013]

5. The Committee expresses concern about:

(a) The numerous and consistent allegations of acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in police custody;

(b) The reported lack of prompt and adequate access by persons in police custody to legal and medical assistance, and to family members;

(c) The deletion of the definition of torture in the new Criminal Code, which was in conformity with that of the Convention;

(d) Administrative police detention in temporary holding facilities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior;

(e) The reported failure of the State party to ensure prompt, impartial and full investigations into the numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment, thereby contributing to a culture of impunity among law enforcement officials;

(f) The absence of an independent oversight mechanism competent to deal with complaints against the police;

(g) The lack of judicial supervision of temporary holding facilities that are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior;

(h) Allegations of a dysfunctional criminal justice system, apparently caused in part by a lack of independence of the procuracy and the judiciary;

(i) Allegations concerning the heavy emphasis put on confessions as a primary source of evidence in criminal proceedings;

(j) Reports alleging that immigrants are apparently being detained in poor conditions in temporary holding facilities;

(k) Allegations regarding the expulsion of aliens that seem to occur without taking into consideration the safeguards contained in article 3 of the Convention;

(l) The poor material conditions prevailing in police detention facilities and prisons, and the lack of independent inspections of such places. The Committee expresses particular concern at reports alleging that juveniles are in some cases held together with adults where they lack education and meaningful activities;

(m) The lack of training in the prevention of torture of law enforcement personnel, including doctors dealing with persons deprived of their liberty.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - In spite of changes to the law, impunity for torture and other ill-treatment continued. Of 128 complaints received by the Prosecutor General’s Office in connection with incidents following demonstrations in April 2009, only 43 had reached the courts and only three police officers had been convicted by the end of 2012. In all three cases the officers received suspended sentences.

On 8 May, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Eugen Fedoruc against his detention in Chişinău Psychiatric Hospital, and in July his detention was extended for a further six months. Eugen Fedoruc was first held by the police on 2 April 2011 in connection with a series of murders. He alleged that he was tortured when he was held in Chişinău General Police Directorate from 16 April to 17 June 2011. He said he had been suspended with his hands and legs bound together and given electric shocks to force him to confess. He was then transferred to Chişinău Psychiatric Hospital for 10 days for psychiatric assessment, and remained in detention until December. Eugen Fedoruc had been previously treated as an outpatient for schizophrenia, but his doctor said in June 2012 that he was calm and presented no threat to the public, and that there was no reason for him to be held as an inpatient. The torture allegations were not investigated.


Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 4   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 6 February 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 13 May 2020]

Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, there is evidence of bribery and political influence among judicial and law enforcement officials. Some courts are inefficient and unprofessional, and many rulings are never carried out. Laws passed in 2005 on appointments to the Supreme Court and the Superior Court of Magistrates have had some success in strengthening judicial independence. An April 2008 European Commission report called for better training for judges and prosecutors and reforms to ensure the independence of the general prosecutor’s office. Opposition parties cited criminal probes aimed at critics of the 2007 renationalization of the Soroca granite quarry as evidence of the office’s politicization. Abuse and ill-treatment in police custody are still widespread, and prison conditions are exceptionally poor.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 6 February 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports that police employed cruel and degrading arrest and interrogation methods and that guards beat prison inmates. On June 30, parliament approved a law criminalizing torture.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reported several cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees. For example, the local Amnesty International (AI) office reported that armed police beat several Roma in a mid-July raid on a Romani community in Edineti in connection with a murder investigation. Police in Chisinau detained three persons incommunicado for several weeks (see section 1.d.).

According to the Helsinki Committee, the Ministry of Internal Affairs took administrative action against the officers involved in the September 2004 beating and interrogation of Petru Calamanov.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Moldova",, [accessed <date>]