Petrenco and Others v. the Republic of Moldova (Applications nos. 6345/16, 52055/16, 52063/16, 52133/16, 52171/16, 52179/16 and 52189/16)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


35.  Having examined the videos of the demonstration of 6 September 2015 included in the case-file (see their detailed description in paragraphs 710 above), the Court notes that the accusations concerning the applicants’ violent behaviour are wholly inconsistent with the footage contained in those videos. According to the video footage in question, the authenticity of which was not contested by the Government, the demonstration in general and the applicants in particular were peaceful at all times. It is true that the police used force to push the protesters away from the entrance of the building, but the latter did not present any violent or armed resistance and let themselves be moved away from the entrance of the building in a matter of 2-3 minutes (see paragraphs 7 and 8 above). 

36.  The Court notes that judge S.B. from the Court of Appeal also expressed the view that the demonstration had been peaceful in her dissenting opinion (see paragraph 16 above). It also notes the finding of the Supreme Court of Justice in its judgment of 11 February 2020 to the effect that in convicting the applicants, the lower courts relied exclusively on the presentation of the facts made by the prosecution and that they had not paid attention to the materials of the case (see paragraph 18 above). 

37.  In such circumstances, the Court cannot but find that the accusation of participating in mass disorders against the applicants was not based on a “reasonable suspicion” and therefore cannot be considered “lawful” and devoid of arbitrariness within the meaning of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention (see Brega v. Moldova, no. 52100/08§ 38, 20 April 2010). There has, accordingly, been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. 

45.  In so far as the lawfulness of the above interference is concerned, no elements in the present case allow the Court to consider that there was a legal basis for limiting the applicants’ right to freedom of assembly. Indeed, Article 191 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (see paragraph 23 above) does not provide for such a surety measure and the Government did not indicate to any other domestic legal provisions which would allow such a measure being imposed on a person released pending trial. This being so, the Court concludes that the interference in question was not lawful under domestic law. This conclusion makes it unnecessary to examine whether the interference pursued a legitimate aim and whether it was necessary in a democratic society. 

46.  Accordingly, there has been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention. 


De versie van de browser die je gebruikt is verouderd en wordt niet ondersteund.
Upgrade je browser om de website optimaal te gebruiken.