Hands off Grigory Petrenko! The whole world is watching!

To Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti, U.S. President Barack Obama, Head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker:

To officials of Moldova, the European Union and the United States:

The life of Moldovan political prisoner Grigory Petrenko is in danger. We join with people around the world to demand guarantees for his safety and immediate release from prison.

On Nov. 18, attorney Ana Ursachi reported that the Moldovan government, dominated by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, may be preparing to physically eliminate opposition political leader Petrenko. The regime has spread false information in the media about a connection between Petrenko and two young men arrested on Nov. 13 in Chisinau as alleged “Donbass mercenaries.”

Last week, we learned that Petrenko was deliberately exposed to the danger of tuberculosis infection by being taken for daily walks in a courtyard reserved exclusively for TB patients. 

On Oct. 18, Petrenko was subjected to physical abuse during an illegal and unauthorized nighttime raid on his prison cell by anonymous employees of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions.

Petrenko and six of his colleagues were singled out for arrest during a peaceful demonstration on Sept. 6, 2015, and have been held under “preventive arrest” ever since. Their detention has been extended three times so far.

On Sept. 30, members of all factions of the Parliamentary Association of the Council of Europe (PACE), of which Petrenko is a former leader and honorary member, signed a statement demanding the immediate release of the political prisoners.

The torturous and degrading conditions of imprisonment have been brought to the attention of the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the U.S. Embassy and other bodies, but no action has been forthcoming.

Moldova’s pro-Western, oligarch-dominated regime is the responsibility of the European and U.S. governments, which supported its rise and grip on power for their own geostrategic and profit-driven interests. If anything befalls Grigory Petrenko and his fellow political prisoners, the responsibility will rest on the heads of officials in Washington and Brussels, as well as Chisinau.

It is time to act now to secure the release of Grigory Petrenko and his fellow political prisoners, before it is too late! 

Gregory Butterfield, coordinator, Solidarity with Ukraine Anti-fascists Committee (USA)

International Action Center (USA)


To add your name/organization to the appeal, email: [email protected]