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Russian blogger arrested in Moldova ends hunger strike

September 28, 2011, 16:45 UTC+3

Bagirov was arrested in Moldova on June 16 on charges of being involved in the April 2009 unrest

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CHISINAU, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian writer and blogger Eduard Bagirov, who is held in custody in Moldova for his alleged involvement in the riots in April 2009, on Wednesday ended his hunger strike, saying “this method of protest against the arbitrariness of the Moldovan authorities is useless.”

According to Bagirov’s lawyer Adrian Matkovski, “Bagirov is in a satisfactory physical condition, he is kept in strict isolation in a one-man cell at a penitentiary establishment.”

Bagirov was arrested in Moldova on June 16 on charges of being involved in the April 2009 unrest, when the liberal opposition staged protests against the victory of the Communists in the election. The riots then developed into raids of the buildings of parliament and the presidential residence. Bagirov mentioned his involvement in those events in his blog.

Bagirov went on a hunger strike on September 14, after court decided to extend his arrest for another 30 days. He wrote in his blog that in 90 days of his detention in Chisinau he was only once called for an official questioning that lasted 20 minutes. “Therefore I refuse to take food until I am released,” he wrote.

Mark Tkachuk, a Communist leader, said, “Pressure is being brought on Bagirov and other active participants in the April events so that they should acknowledge their involvement” with the Party of Communists. “The Russian writer is being pressurized to give a written testimony that he received instructions from me,” Tkachuk, who was adviser to the Moldovan president at the time of riots, stressed.

On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry came out in support of the Russian citizen. Moscow urges “immediately to release Bagirov under recognizance not to leave until the trial is over, a move that will comply with generally recognized human rights and will not serve as an irritating factor in bilateral relations” the ministry said in its statement.

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