A protest rally “against high gas prices”, which took place on Sunday, in Vulcănești, in the southern region of the Republic of Moldova, was disrupted in the background of exchanges of sharp remarks on political topics between some speakers. It was necessary to involve the police so that fights between the participants were not allowed. A journalist from the Nokta portal, filming the event live, was assaulted and summoned to stop filming.
Tensions began as activist Ivan Besarab, who claimed to be a former PAS supporter, criticized the PSRM. This fact provoked hostile reactions from the socialist deputy in the Gagauz legislative body, Leonid Kiosea, and his group of supporters, present at the rally.
Several policemen monitoring the event got involved to thwart or scuffle between PSRM supporters and Ivan Besarab.
The operator of the Nokta portal, Zahar Pavlioglo, who was filming the event, was assaulted by a PSRM supporter. The journalist was pulled by the hair, being told that “next time I will cut your hair”.
The director of the Nokta portal, Mihail Sirkeli, told Free Europe that the editorial office will file a complaint with the police. “Of course we will file a complaint with the police, because our journalists are already assaulted several times. [la asemenea mitinguri]Sirkeli said.
According to him, PSRM followers resorted to this challenge to thwart the rally, which was allegedly organized by supporters of Dmitri Konstantinov, the president of Comrat’s legislative body.
Protests against the government in Chisinau, “high gas prices” and “the impoverishment of the population” have been taking place every Sunday for two months, in various localities of the autonomy.