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Navi Pillay on human rights, from Moldova

Speaking at the end of her visit to Moldova, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reiterated the importance of media freedom, upholding the rule of law and freedom from torture.

See here for full speech.

Extracts reproduced below:

"Impunity is an issue I raised in connection with torture. Torture is a serious crime and cannot be tolerated in any circumstances.

"Any state official who carries out torture must be prosecuted and brought to justice. In addition, victims of torture are entitled to effective remedies, including reparations."

" I am very concerned at a punitive fine issued against the weekly journal Ziarul de Garda. This case is currently still the subject of legal proceedings. The mere fact of the threat of this fine has a troubling, chilling effect on independent media. Such measures are incompatible with democratic societies based on the rule of law. I encourage strengthened minority language use in the media."

"I welcomed the positive spirit of my meetings, as well as the engagement of the Government to seriously contemplate human rights reform. I was nevertheless troubled by the message of some that certain groups must wait for human rights.

"I have been clear in emphasizing that, where human rights are concerned, the time is now."

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