Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred

The level of Xenophobia in society is largely determined by the degree of incitement to hatred towards minorities. We have to state that the situation in Moldova is far from satisfactory. Moldovan media published both Russophobic and anti-Semitic calls during the monitored period. On July 26, 2013 analyst Anatol Taranu said on Publika TV that the country does not need Russian language to function in higher education, since this, in his opinion, allegedly leads to an outflow of labour abroad.

On February 12, 2013, a refugee from Sierra Leone and activist of the National Liberal Party John Onogez called the Gagauz people “invaders, swindlers and members of the Russian mafia.” On June 27, Timpul newspaper editor Konstantin Tanase published an article "Starting today, we are declaring war. Either this - or that... ", in which he called the Russian-speaking minority among the main diseases of society, which threaten the integrity of the country. On August 4, an article by Tanase entitled "Letter to those born after 1990: everything about lies" stated that since 1991 Moldavia has been divided by the "Russian lie".

On September 10, it became known that the former Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Sturza accused the current government of having a dubious deal with the Jews during a television talk show.

One can note homophobia actively propagated by the local branch of the Russian Orthodox Church. On March 25, 2013, the associations "My Moldova" and "Pro Ortodoxia" called on the deputies of the Moldovan parliament to pass a bill banning the propaganda of homosexuality. On March 26, 2013, the influential Bishop of Beltsy and Faleshtsky Markel, who came to the government building, demanded that the Ministry of Education remove the book "Sexual Life" from school libraries. "We are not against sexual education. However, we will not tolerate perversions that are trying to be equated to normal life. Therefore, we see damage and destruction in this book”. According to the bishop, discontent of believers was caused by the chapter describing homosexual relations. On May 15, 2013, Metropolitan of Moldova Vladimir addressed the mayor of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaca with an appeal to ban the parade of LGBT people. "The LGBT initiative is a provocation that challenges good morals. I ask the mayor to use his power to prevent residents of the capital from witnessing these shameful events.” Bishop Markel said: "We intend to block them if it is required and with the help of the Lord to prevent this event."

On May 27, 2013, Bishop Markel stated that if the Moldovan authorities fail to repeal the Law on Ensuring Equality, the Holy Synod can go to exceptional measures and excommunicate the highest state officials from the church. On June 24, 2014, the Moldavian branch of the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated politicians who participated in the adoption of the "Law on Non-Discrimination", which prescribes the legalisation of homosexuality and same-sex marriages in Moldova. Among those excommunicated, the main initiators of the adoption of the law are the deputies Vlad Filat, Marian Lupu, Vlad Plahotniuc, the Minister of Justice Oleg Efrim and President Nikolay Timofti. Moldovan ROC declared that they were ready to "raise the masses" if the authorities did not come to their senses.

On May 19, 2014 Orthodox activists blocked an LGBT march in Chisinau. They booed LGBT members, shouting insulting slogans and threatening with violence. March participants had to leave to the city outskirts. Priests who were among the protesters to LGBT rally then gathered at the Central Cathedral. They stated that they will not allow such actions in the city, because “gays and lesbians defile the feelings of believers, they have no place in a Christian society”.

In 2013, the most noticeable were hatred appeals were towards the Moldovan state and Victory Day, coming from supporters of unification with Romania. On February 7, in an interview with “InfoPrut”, one of the leaders of the youth wing of the ruling coalition of the Democratic Party, Ion Ion Hargel called Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War an extremist holiday.

Mayor of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoacă, at a press-conference on May 8, stated that Moldova remains occupied since 1945. The main argument supporting this thesis, according to Chirtoacă, is the fact that there are annual celebrations of the Victory Day on May 9th, instead of the Day of Europe. During the visit of the President of Romania Traian Basescu in Chisinau on July 17, he was met by a right-wing group, who chanted "Bessarabia - Romanian land," and "Unirea!" (unification) in the centre of the city.

Russophobic statement also took place. On May 9, 2014 unionists chanted slogans – “Basarabia, pământ românesc” ("Bessarabia is a Romanian land"), “Rusia nu uita, Basarabia nu e a ta” ("Remember, Russia, Bessarabia is not yours") and «Rogozin, marş afară» ("Piss off, Rogozin") in the centre of Chisinau. On June 28, participants of the unionist march in Chisinau had burned the portraits of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin. According to the members of this radical group, Dmitri Rogozin made statements that do not satisfy the Romanian people, and he has to be declared persona non grata in Moldova and Romania.

Anti-Semitic hate speech should be noted, too. On December 4, 2013 a group of pro-Orthodox activists once again protested against the installation of a menorah on the street of Chisinau holding placards: "Hanukkah is a symbol of the occupation of the Yids!", "We do not want to have menorah, we are Orthodox". They demanded the demolition of the menorah. On December 23, anti-Semitic graffiti were recorded in Chisinau. On January 28, Writers' Union of Moldova nominated a writer, anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Paul Goma, for the Nobel Prize, the fact of which can be regarded as support of anti-Semitism from the culture elite. Commenting on this to “JournalTV” on February 2, the chairman of the union Arkady Suceveanu stated that author’s works – are “expression of freedom.” “Goma engages in a real dissidence, openly talks about the cruelty of communist prisons in Romania and about the tragic history of Bessarabia. Goma’s works – are denial of communism, expression of freedom,” he said.

In its Report on the state of hate speech in the Republic of Moldova, published in 2021, the Council of Europe identified that “the most problematic area remains the use of hate speech in election campaigns, which requires the rapid formation of response mechanisms that are not yet provided by any state body." According to the CoE, the Central Electoral Commission should have the legal authority to respond promptly and decisively to all reports of hate speech and to impose appropriate sanctions for each violation.

In addition, the police should develop internal tools to make it easier to detect and punish hate speech. This is an extremely important point, given that the spread of hatred is not codified as a crime in the Moldovan Criminal Code.

One of the most important problems in Moldova remains the spread of hatred against the Jews. The Jewish community numbers from 1,600 to 30,000 people (depending on the source and definition), including up to 2,000 people living in Transnistria. According to the Jewish community, anti-Semitic speech and hate speech on the Internet and in the media against members of the Jewish community remained a systemic problem. Online posts related to the community's activities often received hateful and offensive comments, some of which blamed the Jewish community for spreading COVID-19. The Jewish community reported numerous cases of anti-Semitic and offensive comments on news with a Jewish component posted on the private news portal point.md. In response to an article about the last Jewish citizen evacuated from Afghanistan by fellow citizens, anonymous authors posted anti-Semitic comments such as always there is no Holocaust" or "plus, minus one (Jewish citizen), not a big loss. The news portal took no action to remove anti-Semitic content. The Jewish community reported one case of vandalism against a Jewish memorial in Kosauti during the year, when unknown persons vandalized a monument commemorating more than 6,000 Jews killed in the forest of Kosauti during the Holocaust. The police launched an investigation, but as of November, the perpetrators had not been identified.

Back to list

© 2017 Civic Nation
Created by – NBS-Media