In Moldova, the freedom of assembly is regulated by the law № 26 "On assemblies" as of February 22, 2008. That law requires prior notification regarding the holding of peaceful assemblies.
Procedure for organizing meetings
- organizers can be citizens of Moldova or any other state;
- organizers can be citizens who have not reached the legal age;
- organizers shall file a notice about a demonstration at least 5 before the day of the event;
- organizers do not bear any expenses for the holding of the event.
What is allowed
Organizers and participants have the right:
- to hold spontaneous meetings;
- to hold meetings near state-run institutions;
- to hold meetings at night-ti,e without proper sound equipment;
- to cover their faces with masks;
- to call for participation in the demonstration before filing a notice;
- to hold simultaneous assemblies, including counter-demonstrations.
Restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly
It is prohibited:
- to instigate violation of the territorial integrity of Moldova, call publicly for the commission of crimes, as well as discrimination towards any social group;
- to block access to the buildings near the location of the assembly;
- to propagandize totalitarian communist regimes and totalitarian ideologies and use its symbolic.
- organizers shall get a fine ranging from 12 to 18 standard currency units (from $35 to $53 respectively) if the assembly does not go as indicated in the notice or without notice at all;
- participants shall face a fine ranging from 60 to 90 standard currency units (or from $172 to $259 accordingly) or arrest for up to 15 days if they attend the assembly carrying a weapon;
- organizers and participants shall not be held liable or punished for repeated violation of these regulations;
- public servants should not obstruct the assembly or force anyone to participate, otherwise, they face a fine ranging from 24 to 30 standard currency units (from $69 to $86 respectively).
Commentaries of experts and participants of public events
Participants of public assemblies and human rights defenders from Moldova note that the freedom of assembly is regulated by a fairly liberal law. Nevertheless, in particular cases, authorities unlawfully restrict peaceful demonstrations. Our respondents note most problems surrounding assemblies that intend to criticize the current government policies as well as anti-corruption demonstrations. Activists emphasize that in recent years police have started to implement stricter and more brutal measures during protests. Moreover, the authorities frequently force civil servants to participate in pro-government rallies. According to our respondents, it is hard to hold civil servants and police officers liable for their illegal actions at mass meetings. Even though victims receive compensation in accordance with the decisions of the ECHR, the guilty remain unpunished.