HRDs in Moldova face signficant challenges in the Transnistrian region, where cases of torture, harassment, defamation, arbitrary arrests, and unlawful detentions are systematic, the rights to freedom of expression and association are tightly controlled, and any type of human rights activities is suppressed. A number of HRDs and independent journalists have been intimidated and harassed by the Russian-backed Transnistrian government.
In the context of widespread corruption in Moldova, cases of abuse of power by officials, as well as ill-treatment, violence, and arbitrary convictions of HRDs and independent journalists are rarely investigated, so that perpetrators act with impunity. The monopolisation of the mass media by political figures creates obstacles to freedom of expression, and the media is used as a tool to defame and carry out smear campaigns against HRDs or those critical of current political and economic policies in the country.
There have been some positive legislative amendments recently introduced in Moldova to ensure better protection from discrimination and to secure the right to freedom of expression. However, defenders engaged in promoting minority rights, especially those relating to LGBTI, migrants, and Roma people, face persecution, threats, and harassment from different extremist groups, while the police are often reluctant to provide them with sufficient protection or impartially investigate cases of their rights being violated.