Information on police response to complaints dealing with ethnic violence or harassment [MDA13505]

Moldova's population of about 4.3 million is made up of five different ethnic groups; the majority, 65 per cent, are ethnic Romanians, 14 per cent are Ukrainians and 13 per cent are Russians. The Gagauz (Christian Turkic) minority represents about 3.5 per cent and the Bulgarians about 2 per cent of the population (Country Reports 1992 1993, 853).

According to Country Reports 1991, ethnic Russian and Gagauz minorities began secessionist movements in areas where they were the majority (1286). During December 1990 the Russian and Gagauz minorities held independence referendums and presidential elections (Ibid.). During the elections local authorities obstructed voting, and there were reports of intimidation and harassment of ethnic Moldovan voters (Ibid.). The most violent armed clashes occurred on December 13 when fights broke out between Moldovan and trans-Dniester forces in Dubossary (Ibid.). Sporadic clashes continued in early January 1992 (Ibid.). In October 1992 Russian-Moldovan disputes were resolved and Moldovan treatment of ethnic minorities proved to be satisfactory (Ibid.). There have been reports that some prisoners taken during the Transdnistrian fights suffered mistreatment, including beatings from Moldovan police (Country Reports 1992 1993, 848). Opponents of the separatist forces in the Transdnistrian region state that security forces are watching and harassing them (Ibid., 850).

According to a spokesperson at the U.S. Helsinki Commission, there are complaints in Moldova that police do not respond to ethnic violence or harassment (9 March 1993).

Further information is available in the attached documents. Additional or corroborating information is currently unavailable to the DIRB in Ottawa.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. 1993. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

. 1992. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Helsinki Commission, New York. 9 March 1993. Telephone interview with spokesperson.


Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. August 1992. "Staff Delegation Trip Report on Moscow, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus June 25-July 4, 1992," Washington, D.C., pp. 16-19.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1991. 1992. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 1286-1287.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 1 January 1993. Report on Eastern Europe [Munich]. Vol. 2, No. 1. Vladimir Socor. "Moldova's 'Dniester' Ulcer," pp. 12-16.

Reuters. 18 May 1992. PM Cycle. Rostislav Khotin. "Moldova's Ethnic Ukrainians Demand Kiev's Protection." (NEXIS)