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Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Anti-Discrimination Legislation The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.

Legislation against incitement of ethnic hatred is contained in Article 346 of the Criminal Code "Deliberate action aimed at inciting national, racial or religious hatred or discord". The Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova also provides liability for the genocide (Article 135), and crimes against humanity (Article 135-1).

The criminal law of the republic itself provides for hate crimes for four reasons: social, national, racial or religious hatred. In practice, these provisions are rarely used, or not used at all. Actions of hate are penalised for, if at all, with the use of the conventional legislation featuring very mild sanctions, although Part 1 of Article 77 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova qualifies hate crimes as an aggravating circumstance.

In 2003, a law was passed on countering of extremist activity. This law relates to extremist activities including "activities of a public or religious association, the media or other organisation, the individual planning, organisation, preparation or execution of actions aimed at inciting racial, national or religious hatred, as well as social discord, associated with violence or incitement to violence, and propaganda of exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their religion or race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, opinion, political affiliation, property or social origin". Also extremism is considered to be "propaganda and public demonstration of Nazi paraphernalia or symbols, paraphernalia or symbols similar to Nazi attributes and symbols of confusing level". However, this law is rarely applied in practice, as some of the existing legislation is not brought in line with it. In particular, appropriate changes were not included into the Criminal Code and the degree of punishment for extremism is not determined.

There is no law on the inadmissibility of actions on the rehabilitation of Nazi, glorification of Nazi criminals and their accomplices. In 2003, the Moldovan Parliament adopted the Concept of national policies aimed at supporting the development of the state languages of ethnic minorities living on the territory of Moldova; ensuring the inevitability of responsibility for inciting ethnic hatred, propaganda of national superiority, provoking and committing acts of vandalism and violence and violation of human rights on ethnic and linguistic grounds; creation of equal conditions for their social approval, etc., for all citizens regardless of their ethnicity and language.

In January 2014, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova decided to tighten the rules on public actions, adding new restrictions to the legislation. Among other things, the law punishes calls to national, racial, ethnic or religious hatred, to discrimination or violence, threats to national security or territorial integrity of the country, violation of public order or organisation of riots, violation of public morals and rights and freedoms of other persons. The proposed punishment for such offenses is proposed as a fine of 2-3 lei (EUR 150-165) or an administrative arrest for 5 to 15 days. Interior Ministry’s project also allows the police statements of the offenses committed during public actions to pass straight to court without prosecutors’ approval.

On November 29, the Criminal Code of Transnistria was supplemented with a new article that provides punishment for attempts at rehabilitation of Nazism. In addition, the article also criminalises distribution of false information about the Soviet Union actions during the Second World War. Such acts will be punished by a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years. Persons exploiting their authority in the government or media while committing such acts will be subject to additional punishment. A person convicted of such offences would be prohibited from holding certain positions for 3 years. The law came into force on December 14, 2014.

On December 3, 2020, the Parliament of Moldova adopted in the final reading the law on the functioning of languages ​​on the territory of the republic, in which the Russian language became the language of interethnic communication. The law was adopted unanimously by the deputies of the parliamentary majority - the Party of Socialists and the Shor party, an Interfax correspondent reports from the Moldovan parliament. The opposition boycotted the parliamentary session in protest against the "toxic" agenda approved by the parliamentary majority. According to the adopted law, in relations with public authorities, as well as with enterprises and organizations located on the territory of Moldova, the language of oral and written communication is the state language and / or Russian as the language of interethnic communication at the choice of a citizen. This was explained not only by the fact that a significant Russian-speaking minority lives in Moldova, but also by the fact that the vast majority of the country's citizens speak Russian.

It was also stipulated in the law that "the state must create all conditions for the use and development of the Russian language as a language of interethnic communication." According to the bill, all names of goods and services produced in the country, medicines sold, as well as plates of state and public institutions should be translated into Russian. The bill proposed introducing "personal responsibility" of officials if they refuse, at the request of citizens, to give an answer to an oral or written petition in Russian. At the same time, he obliged the heads of state institutions to know the state language. The adopted law was intended to replace the law on the functioning of languages, which had functioned before. It was adopted in the Moldavian SSR on August 31, 1989, but was overturned in 2018 by the Constitutional Court, which declared it "obsolete". However, in January 2021, the Constitutional Court declared the new law unconstitutional.

In June 2021, the President signed a law introducing administrative and criminal liability for Holocaust denial and insulting the memory of the Holocaust. Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Law on Freedom of Speech, adopted by Parliament in 2020, provide for penalties, including criminal ones, for Holocaust denial and xenophobic, racist and fascist propaganda.

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