Police Violence

01 February 2006

According to a report by Amnesty International of August 9, 2005, two Romani men, Mikhail Kaldarar, 21 years old, and Vasilii Kodrian, 46 years old, were held incommunicado by police in the Moldovan capital of Chişinãu. Both men were dedata tained without charge and were at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

Mikhail Kaldarar was reportedly detained during a raid on the Romani community in the town of Yedintsy, in the north of the country, on or around July 18, 2005. Police reportedly beat men, women and children during an armed raid in connection with an investigation into several murders in Chişinãu. They detained more than 30 Romani men and boys, most of whom were held for two days in Yedintsy before a court ordered their release. They were allegedly severely beaten in order to force them to incriminate themselves or others during their detention. Most were released without charge.

According to his lawyer, Mikhail Kaldarar was transferred to the Ministry of Interior temporary holding facility in Chişinãu shortly after his detention. An appeal court in the regional capital of Beltsy ordered Mikhail Kaldarar's release on July 25, 2005, because of the lack of evidence against him. On July 27, 2005, police officers reportedly told Mikhail Kaldarar's mother and representatives of the United Alliance of Roma in Moldova, that he had been released that day, although his mother had waited all day outside the temporary holding facility without seeing him leave. On August 3, 2005, an official of the Ministry of the Interior told Mikhail Kaldarar's father that his son was still being detained and would be released only if the real culprits of the murder were handed over by the Romani community. Authorities however did not confirm his whereabouts, and neither his lawyer nor his family had been allowed to see him as of that date. Vasilii Kodrian was detained by police in Yedintsy on 5 August, allegedly on the grounds that his son, whom the police had not yet apprehended, was a suspect in the investigation into the murders in Chişinãu.

Vasilii Kodrian was released on August 15, 2005, although he and his wife were subsequently both taken again into detention three days later, on August 18, 2005. Neither was reportedly charged with any offence, and both were thought to have been held along with Mikhail Kaldarar in the temporary holding facility in Chişinãu, although once again, the authorities did not confirm their whereabouts. Anna Kodrian was recovering from a series of operations and was reportedly taken into detention without her medication. Their eight-year- old daughter was being cared for by relatives.

In Amnesty's Urgent Action News bulletin for October 2005, it was reported that Mikhail Kaldarar was released on September 8, 2005, and had returned to his family. Anna Kodrian was released approximately three weeks after being detained with her husband, Vasilii Kodrian, on August 18, 2005. Both Mikhail Kaldarar and Anna Kodrian were released through the intervention of the parliamentary human rights ombudsman, who put pressure on the authorities to release the detainees. As of October 2005, Vasilii Kodrian was reportedly still in custody in the northern town of Oknitsa.

(Amnesty International)


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