Natalia Morari on Moldova

morari1219.jpgRemember Natalia Morari (Morar)?  She was once one of Russia’s most intrepid young investigative journalists, working for the news magazine the New Times.  She uncovered a few blockbuster stories about connections between an Austrian bank, a money laundering scheme which may or may not have been related to the government, and the murder of central banker Anderi Kozlov (we posted translations of both pieces).  Her reward for these journalistic achievements was not a Pulitzer-like prize, but rather expulsion from the country back to Moldova.  In an interview with Grigory Pasko for this blog, Morari says that she believes she was exiled in relation with her investigative reporting on corruption, where she named names like Bortnikov, Sobyanin, and Surkov.

Now Morari is back, right in the middle of all the Moldova protests, as the leader of the ThinkMoldova democratic action youth group.  openDemocracy is carrying an interesting translation of one of  her blog pieces which is well worth reading.  I came across this article thanks to a comment posted by Sean Guillory over on Scraps of Moscow – Lyndon Allen’s blog – which is currently offering some of the best coverage on these events in Moldova (Lyndon is apparantely in Chisinau right now).  Thanks and keep up the good work!

From openDemocracy:

4.26pm 7 April, 2009    Statement!

We, the youth initiative that organized a rally of 15,000 people inChisinau yesterday are starting to worry that the political partiesthat got into parliament will use this youth protest for theirpolitical ends.

Three political parties – the AMN, PLDM and the Liberal Party – havealready signed a statement demanding a review of the elections results.They’ve left the square, although the Liberal Democratic Party receivedpermission for today’s event. We call on them, along with the otherpolitical parties, to stop playing their political games, and not toforget that it was not the activists of their parties that took to thestreet, but us, young people who organised themselves through theinternet.

This is why on behalf of our group we announced from the tribune thattoday at 7 pm we were calling on the political leaders of all theopposition parties to come to National Assembly Square for a dialoguewith the young people who took to the streets yesterday and those whotry to exploit this protest for their own benefit.

We repeat that we do not support any political party and reject anyattempts by them or a group of them to take this process into their ownhands. Those parties which do not come to the Square of NationalAssembly today at 7 pm will show that they don’t care about us – aboutthe people on whose behalf they spoke from the tribune today.

We demand the formation of a civil coalition made up not just of politicians, but members of civil society.

If the parties insist on playing their political games, we call on ouryoung people not to let themselves be manipulated by them.

This appeal got enormous support from the young people on the Square.After 7pm we’re going to come and tell them how the talks the politicalparties went. We’d like to note that no one was hurt as a result of theflash mob we organised yesterday.

All the roads to Chisinau are blocked  now. People trying to get herefrom all over the country can’t get into the capital. The internet ispartly blocked, and mobile phone connections are almost completelydown. Tear gas has already been used round the government building.Water cannons have also been used.

We’ve just been informed that a rally was held in support of us todayin Paris at 7 pm opposite the Moldovan embassy and in the Romanian cityof Cluj-Napoca.

We repeat once again that our initiative group is not responsible forthe looting today. The official organiser of today’s rally is theLiberal-Democratic Party (LDP).

The youth whom we called on are standing peacefully on the square.Today, during our press conference, disturbances began by thegovernment building. We don’t understand what the LDP, which wereresponsible for organising today’s rally, were doing then.

This is why we call on everyone today, including the LDP, to come tothe government building at the Square of National Assembly at 7pm. Ouryoung people are expecting a constructive dialogue with them. We willensure this.