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Jul-28-2013 17:46printcomments

Moldova: Make Full Use of the EU Guidelines for Supporting LGBTI People's Human Rights

Moldova should take immediate action to ensure that legislative and other measures are adopted to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT in Moldova: life's not easy
LGBT in Moldova: life's not easy - balcanicaucaso.org

(YORK, UK) - Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Moldova may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has become increasingly under the influence of the Orthodox Christian church, also, it has been marred by human rights violations against the freedom of association for homosexuals to have Gay Pride demonstrations.

For a long time, a large coalition of human rights organisations, including Information Centre GenderDoc-M, was lobbying the government for implementation of anti-discrimination legislation in line with European standards, which would include sexual orientation as one of protected grounds.

A bill, which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, was adopted by the Moldavian Parliament on May 25, 2012 and signed into law by the country's president Nicolae Timofti on May 28, 2012.The law took effect on January 1, 2013.

In June 2011, Moldova used its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council to vote against the first successful UN resolution condemning discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

On April 30, 2013, the parliament of Gagauzia approved a bill to forbid the "propaganda" of homosexualism, bisexualism and transgenderism as like as same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The bill does not include any kind of administrative sanctions or fines. As of July, 2013 it is unclear if the bill was signed into law.

On May 23, 2013, despite the anti-discrimination law which prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, the parliament of Moldova passed a bill which bans the propaganda of prostitution, pedophilia and "any other relations than those related to marriage and family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code". The bill also included fines. The bill was signed into law on July 5, 2013 and came into effect on July 12, 2013. The law does not explicitly prohibit the "propaganda" of homosexuality, but it could be interpreted as such by the judges.

Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes urges the European Commission Regarding Anti-gay Law in Moldova to take immediate action to ensure that legislative and other measures are adopted and effectively implemented to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to promote tolerance towards them.


Moldova make full use of the EU guidelines for supporting LGBTI people’s human rights

Dear Commissioners Füle and Malmström,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

I am writing to call on your immediate response to a recent law severely limiting the freedom of expression in the Republic of Moldova. The law – article 90.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences – was approved by the Moldovan Parliament on May 23, 2013, and entered into force on July 12. The law bans “distribution of public information and/or committing acts aimed at the propagation of prostitution, paedophilia, pornography or of any other relations than those related to marriage or family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code” [emphasis added]. These actions committed by persons or legal entities are punished by fines from 125 to 500 euro and/or by prohibition of specific activities from three months to up to one year.

The broad wording of this law will enable it to be used to restrict the rights of human rights organizations, civil society groups or anyone else who works on issues such as the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals or sex workers and will discriminate against individuals on grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Moldovan civil society organisations Ire not made aware of the draft law until it was published in the Official Gazette on July 12, 2013. No public consultation took place before its adoption.

This discriminatory law violates fundamental human rights standards and Moldova’s obligations under international law. As an unjustified restriction on the freedoms of expression and assembly, the new law violates articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which both of Moldova is a party.

This law is also at odds with the visa liberalisation action plan agreed with the European Union, which requires the adoption of effective legislation to combat all forms of discrimination as this law will result in indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In June 2013, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission condemned and called for the rejection of so-called ‘anti-propaganda’ laws in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Previously, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted a set of recommendations (CM/Rec (2010)5) to member states, including Moldova, on measures to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The recommendations invite the member states to ensure that the stipulated principles and measures are applied in national legislation, policies, and practices relevant to the protection of LGBT people. Relevant recommendations are:

1. Examine existing legislative and other measures, keep them under review, and collect and analyze relevant data, in order to monitor and redress any direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

2. Ensure that legislative and other measures are adopted and effectively implemented to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to promote tolerance towards them.

In addition, on October 14, 2011, the Moldovan government accepted recommendations put forward by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group on Moldova, as part of the UN Human Rights Council’s periodic reviews of the human rights situation in UN member countries. Two relevant recommendations are:

73.24 Prevent discrimination of social minorities, such as Roma people and LGBT persons and adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law (requested by Poland).

73.26 Intensify its efforts to address discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and investigate and prosecute crimes against LGBT community members (requested by Norway).

The new legislation directly contradicts the Council of Europe recommendations and the commitments Moldova accepted under the UPR procedure. I see clearly the negative impact of a similar law in Russia that bans the public dissemination of information on ‘non-traditional families’ when minors are involved. Such laws send a message condoning homophobia and transphobia which contributes to a climate of hatred and violence. State authorities have regularly banned or broken up peaceful public demonstrations in support of the rights of the LGBTI people.

I call upon you to make full use of the EU guidelines for supporting LGBTI people’s human rights and strongly to urge Moldova to repeal this law.

Most respectfully,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
Twitter@wnicholasgomes
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

http://williamnicholasgomes.com/

Donate to: williamgomes.org@gmail.com

______________________________

Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.

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