I was walking down the street the other day here in Chisinau, and I saw a tent on the side of the road. I decided to investigate. Here’s the story:
Alexandr Vinitchii and Stela Surchicean have not eaten for thirteen days.
They began a hunger strike in front of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova on June 12th. They are calling on the government of the Russian Federation to intervene on behalf of their son, Ilie Cazac, who was apprehended by authorities in Transnistria on March 19th.
Since then, Cazac has not had access to his family, his lawyer, or a doctor. On June 22nd, it was reported that the Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova, Philip Remler, had seen Cazac and confirmed that he was in good condition.
Cazac, a tax inspector in the town of Bender, Transnistria, has been charged with espionage on behalf of the government of Moldova and high treason, a charge that carries a sentence of twelve to twenty years imprisonment if found guilty.
Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat committed to do everything he can to ensure the freedom of Cazac upon meeting with Stela Surchicean on June 22nd. Though the OSCE and the Republic of Moldova have committed to working to ensure human rights are guaranteed, the head of the diplomatic mission to Moldova for the Russian Federation, Valeri Kuzmin, when contacted by Cazac’s parents, recommended that they address the authorities of Transnistria, rather than the international community.
Ilie Cazac is one of several questionable imprisonments by the authorities in Transnistria. On April 7th, Ernest Vardanyan, a journalist, was apprehended and also charged with espionage and treason by the Transnistrian athorities. On June 16th, twenty-year-old Helen Dobrovitzcaia was detained. In each case, little regard has been given to due process and the rights of the accused.
Doctors have recommended to Cazac’s parents that they seek medical treatment, but they refuse. They say that they will continue their hunger strike until their son is released.
For more on the story, see the following news stories:
“Four Moldovan NGOs express solidarity with Ilie Cazac’s family,” http://www.azi.md/en/story/12138
“OSCE reports Vardanyan and Cazac to be in satisfactory condition,” http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249047517.html