“He who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure.”
Three Romanians – Andrei Ivantoc, Alexandru Lesco and Tudor Petrov-Popa – were kidnapped and detained by “Soviet Transdniestrian Militia” on July, 1992. At first, the three of them were kept in the arrest of the 14th Russian Army Headquarters, afterwards being handed over to the self-proclaimed “transdniestrian authorities”. These authorities, after a trial that took place in Tiraspol, a city which is theoretically under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldavia, condemned the three of them by a judicial mockery without any trace of an international law criterion.
According to the US congressman Denis J. Kucinich, the members of “IIascu’s group” were in fact condemned for political reasons, due to the fact the they have been active in the Popular Christian Democratic Party of the Republic of Moldavia.
Presently, the health of the three Romanians is extremely worrying: Andrei Ivantoc was on hunger strike in December 2003 and January 2004, Alexandru Lesco suffers from severe psychical affections and Tudor Petrov Popa was contaminated with tuberculosis during his stay in prison, also finding himself in a severe health state. Their regime included in those 11 years of illegal detention tortures and other degrading means of dehumanization.
According to the complaint against the Republic of Moldavia and Russian Federation, handed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the 14th of July 1999, registered under case number 48787/99, the three Romanians suffered the violation of the following provisions of ECHR: the right to be exempt from torture (art 3), the right to freedom and safety (art 5), the right to a fair trial (art 6), the right to respect for the private and family life (art 8).
The Government of Romania offered its expertise to ECHR and on the 7th of January 2004, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs asked ECHR to analyze the possibility to dispose, as an emergency case, the means to improve the situation of the Romanian citizen Andrei Ivantoc, who’s on hunger strike.
We inform you that the so called trans-dniestrian problem, which affects at the same time the eastern borders of the future European Union and of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is sustained by the Russian Federation, by means of constant action and concrete steps, among which are: the Agreement signed on the 21st of July 1992, in Moscow by the Russian president at that time, Boris Eltin and president of Moldavia, Mircea Snegur, designed to end the armed conflict; the breakaway leader Igor Smirnov has a passport issued by the Russian Federation; the declaration of Russian State Duma which affirms Transdniestria as a strategic interest area; the failure of respecting the date for the retreat of the Russian 14th Army, according to the agreement assumed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, 1999; the declaration of Russian Defense Minister, Serghei Ivanov, towards the establishment of Russian troops until 2020, on the territory of the unrecognized state entity.
According to these facts, we ask for your intervention by the Russian Federation, european and international organizations, for the unconditioned release of the three Romanian political detainees.
Their lives depend on you as well.
National Romanian Daily
Romanian Press Club (CRP)
World Association of Newspapers (WAN)
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Civic Media Association eu.ro.21
Convention of Media Organizations from Romania (COM)
South Eastern Europe Media Organization (SEEMO),
affiliated to International Press Institute (IPI)
Campania pentru Grupul Ilascu, 2004
* (Since then, Alexandru Lesco was released from prison. The other two Romanian citizens held arbitrarly by Tiraspol, Andrei Ivantoc and Tudor Petrov Popa, are still in jail)