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Protests in Chisinau – Interview with Oleg Brega

May 26, 2009

obregainfometatWhat does it means to be a journalist in the communist Moldova, to be investigated in the middle of the night, to have your professional equipment takes away by force, together will all your Romanian staff in the house, from your official papers to the Romanian flag?

What does it means to have Romanian citizenship in a country using to daily point the finger to the Bucharest administration, irrationally blaming it for all kind of imaginary underground activities? Furthermore what does it means, beyond all of these, to have your name related to an anti-communist movement in a former Soviet country?

Oleg Brega is unveiling us today all of these and even more. He is as well a Romanian citizen, a journalist of Moldova Journal TV Station. Oleg took part in last April protests into the Moldavian capital, in the aftermath of the presidential elections followed by the maintaining of the current communist regime in power.

He also told us how life could be when your Internet access is denied and you are afraid to go out on the streets, knowing your life is threatened. Oleg also talks about his brother, Ghenadie Brega – one of the leaders of the well-known anticommunist Moldavian associations Hyde Park, at this time under criminal investigation in Chisinau.


“I WANT TO WALK FEARLESS ON THE STREETS”

How are still working the free journalists in Chisinau, the anticommunist media organizations?

They are working under a huge pressure, under stress, anxiety and the desperation of a strangled man who wants at least to be heard, who refuse to die without witnesses. Well, if until one or two years, the Pro TV station in Chisinau was tong-tied and concerned for its business license, now it moved by the opposition side. That’s why the station became a pain the ass for the current regime and is likely to be removed from the market.

As to Pro TV station, in the aftermath of the elections, some other media institutions have abandoned their usual handiness, realizing that from now on they must openly fight because this is the last chance of survival. But most of the media institutions in Chisinau, for different reasons (either because they are totally controlled by the regime, either because they do not want to risk) are keeping the silence or are doing an open propaganda of the orthodox fundamentalist Bolshevism. Those ones are singing elegies to President Vladimir Voronin and blame the opposition parties as much as they can.

How many foreign journalists are still living in Chisinau? I mean foreign correspondents to cover the presidential elections of May 28…

It seems to me that I’ve met a couple, but they are very few and more Russians. However, the event will last up to an hour at the Palace of the Republic, the temporary headquarters of the Parliament, and only 60 – 97 deputies are expected to vote, so there is no huge event to cover.

Tell me please about the consequences of April events in Chisinau upon yourself. Did you manage to keep your job?

I still work but I feel this put in danger the institution, the employer who hired me a year ago. And I also feel that my life, my entire work is jeopardized. Therefore I intend to leave the country as soon as I can but I do not want to move very far. I would like to live fearless; I would like an ordinary place where I should not be afraid to stay at home, to go out on the streets, to write for a newspaper, to listen to the radio or to watch certain TV channels. But I will not live until I will see what is happening with the last chance of my country to return to normality and legitimacy. I’m waiting for the result of the early parliamentary elections that in the aftermath of the anticipated failure of the presidential vote. But most of all, I’m waiting the release of my brother, Ghenadie. Then we will probably go into Romania, into the other less occupied homeland of us. We are both Romanian citizenship, me since I was a student and that means already 13 years. Ghenadie obtained his Romanian citizenship in the Justice Court, 2 years ago.

What happens to your brother?

He is now under criminal investigation for organizing a peaceful protest on April 6, the day after the election, but which, prosecutors alleged, degenerated – the next day – in public violence. As it was not Police’s duty but of the organizers to safeguard the public buildings and other property which were destroyed that day!

They confiscated us even our computer’s modem

Did something else have happened to you or to your brother after the beginning of the criminal prosecution?

They didn’t threat us anymore after these days, except the fact that in the morning of 7 April, the General Prosecutor has issued an official communiqué stating Ghenadie was the main guilty for the events that would not happen yet but during the next hours. This was into my opinion obvious evidence that everything was planned in advance by the communist Government in Chisinau. On the evening of 8 April I was into my turn beaten in the street by the Police. Next evening, the Policemen came at my house looking for Ghenadie. They were acting as Ghenadie was an ordinary criminal, not a citizen with legal rights. The Police threaten my family during the house search and seize us all our video tapes and personal computers. They also took in custody our documents and evidence which we could use to defend ourselves in front of the Court from the Police abuses.

Now they are no longer threat us directly, as they used to do with weaker people. They already know we will immediately make this public. Anyway we also know that it’s enough for us to not pay attention for a moment and they will cut us our Internet home access, our possibility to publicly tell what’s happens. They confiscated us even our computer’s modem, to be sure we won’t have any connection. What the modem has to do with the April’s protests?

Have you or your brother been detained for interrogation?
I was not anymore arrested, but we had a lot of home searches and endless visits to the prosecutor. But we were held dozens of times before and during our street protests.

Did they ever ask you about Romania? As you know, Vladimir Voronin used to accuse Romania almost daily. He says the Romanian authorities are behind the protests from Chisinau.
Well, the investigators were practically enjoying for every Romanian object they could find inside our house – the Romanian flag, our Romanian IDs, whatever… even the proofs me and Ghenadie are graduated for a Romanian University and we continue our studies in Romania.

I had a feeling, during the last period of time, that Moldavian régime has started a witch hunting in Chisinau. It seems they were hunting not only the Romanian citizens in Chisinau but everything that is Romanian.
We have had the same impression. But I believe anyway that this is more an appearance. They are as well disturbed by the Russians, by the enemies of the Voronin administration, by people who came from abroad the country.

New violence could break up in Chisinau

In this case, tell me why they are putting the finger only towards Romania and not to Russia, Transdniester or what else?

Because all this is a scenario set up into the Kremlin’s underground offices. Voronin always acted into his favor. When all the eyes of the Occident were watching him and when it was suitable for him in order to win the elections, he seems to fight Russia. He has rejected Vladimir Putin’s plans for federalization to give the Occident the impression that he is a reliable partner. Otherwise he would lose the elections and the Russians could have in Chisinau some doubtful allies. This was happen during 2005 presidential elections. He switched off again his policy now because of the elections, hoping the population can be double-crossed again.

It didn’t work this time, the Moldavians proved they can’t be any longer lied by the same people. Furthermore Voronin’s administration must do something, and they did it – election fraud, burning the city and so on. This was a double game. The population must realize that the Moldavian opposition and Romania are no longer so supportive or attractive. They must be given some good reasons to turn to the Moldavian Communist Party and to Russia.

What we could expect from now on? Probably there will be early elections – and then? There are certain chances for the alliance of the three opposition parties to stay together? Or they will reach eventually a compromise solution with the Communist Party?
I hope we will have early elections due to the second failure of the vote in Parliament. I also hope this time the elections will be carefully watched by the Western countries and by a cohesive opposition. I wish the presidential elections will be permanently and irreversibly lost by the communist.

But in the meantime I know there is anyway possible for them to win again, to find the necessary votes to establish a new dictatorial government for the next 4 years.

Do you believe new violence could break up in Chisinau?

Yes, I believe it could happen again. Actually the aggressions did not even stop in the aftermath of the April elections. Just have a look at Maia Laguta’s or Anatol Grobari’s testimonies. They said how they were keep in custody and beaten these days by the communist Militia, because they just wanted to go on the streets. Now the police is doing whatever it likes to do. The policemen are protected by the Prosecutor’s office, by the communist controlled Justice. They are making people to feel the terror; they are punishing anyone who tries to raise his head against the current state powers.

Obviously, there is possible to have again street violence, especially if the government will be overwhelmed by the protesters and their request for resignation.

You can access the Romanian version of the interview on www.reportervirtual.ro


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Because all this is a scenario set up in Kremlin. Voronin always acted into his favor. When all the eyes of the Occident were watching him and when it was suitable for him in order to win the elections, he seems to fight Russia. He has rejected Vladimir Putin’s plans for federalization to give the Occident the impression that he is a reliable partner. Otherwise he would lost the elections and the Russians could have in Chisinau some doubtful allies. This was happen during 2005 presidential elections. He switched off again his policy now because of the elections, hoping the population can be double-crossed again. It didn’t work this time, the Moldavians proved they can’t be any longer lied by the same people. Furthermore Voronin’s administration must do something, and they did it – election fraud, burning the city and so on. This was a double game. The population must realize that the Moldavian opposition and Romania are no longer so supportive or attractive. They must be given some good reasons to turn to the Moldavian Communist Party and to Russia.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2009 12:04 pm

    Bun gasit!
    Pe aceasta cale imi exprim sincere multumiri autorului pentru acest articol. Este postat si pe Portalul de libera informare si exprimare (www.curaj.net)
    Victoria noastra consta in faptul sa fim auziti pretutindene. O voce incurajetoara trezeste la actiuni din somnul intepenirii ai fricii. Daramite un cor de voci!
    Populatia trebuie informata corect, veridic, la timp si sa aiba posibilitate sa se exprime nestingherit pasul sau oful la mai multe tribune. In aceste conditii apare tandem unit – societatea civila, cetatenii de rand pe deoparte si breasla jurnalistica, pe de alta. Doar in aceste conditii poti verifica pulsul adevarat ai societatii si sa te bucuri de stima si respect reciproc.
    Bravo O. Brega! Pastrati legatura si mai multe reportaje comune.
    Spor!

    Cu respect,
    Anatol Hristea – Stan
    ex. vicepresedinte ACI Hyde Park,
    Chisinau. Moldova

  2. May 27, 2009 3:35 am

    “But in the meantime I know there is anyway possible for them to win again, to find the necessary votes to establish a new dictatorial government for the next 4 years.”

    Eu cred ca protestele vor trebui de inceput indata dupa alegerile anticipate cind comunistii vor pierde aceste alegeri ca sa nu mai poata reveni niciodata la conducere. Succes!

  3. IlkykLvo4 permalink
    May 31, 2010 10:29 am

    Good day everyone, could anybody aid please.

    Why will not the hyperlinks on the top bar of the site web page that submit a message work for me?

    Thanks

  4. June 1, 2011 12:54 am

    I have done extensive research on this subject, and agree completely with the way this was written. I only wish I had the eloquence to put it into quality writing.

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