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Ernest Vardanean

Ernest Vardanean
Born (1980-05-11) May 11, 1980
Residence Chisinau
Nationality USSR
Ethnicity Armenian
Alma mater Moldova State University
Occupation Journalist
Spouse(s) Irina Vardanean
Children 2
Parents Tamara Shaghoyan (mother)

Ernest Vardanean (born May 11, 1980 in Yerevan) is a journalist and political scientist who lives in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria. He was arrested on 7 April 2010 by the self-proclaimed forces in Tiraspol charged of high treason in favor of the Republic of Moldova.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Reactions to Arrest 2
  • Release 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Ernest Vardanian was born in 1980 in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia; his family moved to Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic after the 1988 Spitak earthquake. Vardanian graduated from the Faculty of Political Science of the Moldova State University; he speaks 5 languages; He ran in 2005 election for Parliament of Transnistria, but his campaign failed. He is one of the founders of the Pridnestrovian Armenians Union and is a member of the organisation’s board.

Ernest Vardanian worked for the Russian Internet news agency Novy Region in Tiraspol. In 2009, he started to work also for the Chişinău-based newspaper Puls, which caused irritation among Transdniestrian authorities.[2] Vardanian was known in Moldova for his often critical reporting on state officials and matters of public interest.[3] Vardanian was selected for a position in the United Nations Secretariat in 2009.[4]

Reactions to Arrest

On April 7, a group of armed agents from PMR’s Ministry of State Security arrested Vardanian in front of his home in Tiraspol and has been accused of working for the Moldovan intelligence in Chişinău. On May 11, he was shown on Transdniestrian state television confessing to being a spy. Vardanian said he was recruited by Nicolae Botezatu, an official with the Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service, in May 2001 when he was a fourth year student at the Chişinău university. Vardanyan's lawyer said his client has been forced to confess to something he did not do (he believes the journalist was forced to make the confession in exchange for a meeting with his wife Irina).[5] His family and friends believe he was forced to confess under pressure.[6][7]

On April 21, 2010, the European Union Heads of Mission in Chişinău express their deep concern that the journalist Ernest Vardanian, who was arrested by the Transnistrian security forces, has been denied the basic human rights.[8]


"Reporters Without Borders reiterates its dismay about Vardanean's detention and treatment and calls for his release. In the meantime, it urges the authorities to allow him to see his lawyer, so that the proceedings can start running along legal lines."[10]

The Committee to Protect Journalists "calls for Ernest Vardanian’s release": "the farcical footage aired on the local state television proves nothing else but the pressure to which this journalist has been subjected".[11]

"I am asking the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the EU Head of Delegation to Moldova to act urgently for the immediate release of the detained journalist" said Traian Ungureanu in the European Parliament on May 19, 2010. Another member of the European Parliament, Cristian Preda, expained: "I would like to say that this action is used by the authorities in Tiraspol to intimidate Chişinău at a time when the new government which took office after last year’s elections would like to move closer to the European Union and also resolve the Transnistrian conflict. I am calling for the immediate, unconditional release of the journalist Ernest Vardanian, and I urge the authorities in the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria to make a move towards Chişinău in order to resolve the conflict there."

Ernest Vardanean and

  • Jailed Moldovan Journalist's Wife Told Husband Healthy, Detention To Continue
  • Gyumri collects signatures for Ernest Vardanyan's release
  • Let Medvedev intervene

External links

  1. ^ Moldova Bulletin – April 30, 2010 – Report on the current situation in Moldova. Journalist, political scientist Ernest Vardanean officially indicted on charges of high treason
  3. ^ SEEMO / IPI Press Release: Journalist Arrested, Charged with Treachery in Moldova
  4. ^ Journalist confesses to espionage amid fears he was coerced
  5. ^ Journalist confesses to espionage amid fears he was coerced
  6. ^ Jailed Moldovan Journalist's Wife Told Husband Healthy, Detention To Continue
  8. ^ Delegation of the European Union to Moldova, EU Heads of Mission Statement on the case of journalist Ernest Vardanyan
  9. ^ SEEMO / IPI Press Release: Journalist Arrested, Charged with Treachery in Moldova
  10. ^ Transnistrian authorities trying to break journalist held on spying charge
  11. ^ In Moldova, CPJ calls for Ernest Vardanian’s release
  12. ^ Jailed Moldovan Journalist's Wife Told Husband Healthy, Detention To Continue
  13. ^ Transdniester Officials Say Jailed Moldovan Confesses To Espionage
  14. ^ Gyumri collects signatures for Ernest Vardanyan's release
  15. ^ [1]


In May 2011 Igor Smirnov signed a decrete saying that Ernest can be released from the jail.[15] After that, Ernest Vardanian and his family moved to Chisinau. Now Ernest is a University lecturer and blogger.


At the beginning of August 2010, civil activists in the Armenian city of Gyumri have started to collect signatures demanding the release of Vardanyan.[14]

[13], on charges of spying for Moldova.Bender Ilie Cazac, 24, was arrested by Transdniester police on March 22, 2010 in his hometown, [12]

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