Starting today, communist symbols are banned in the independent Republic of Moldova, a tiny former Soviet Republic. More importantly, communist symbols cannot be used by parties for electoral gain. In July, parliament passed a law condemning the communist totalitarian regime, which entered in force on October 1, after being review by the Constitutional Court. The law was a result of the work of a presidential history commission — the Commission for the Study and Evaluation of the Totalitarian Communist Regime in the Republic of Moldova — which worked in 2010 and produced a final report detailing the crimes and repression perpetrated by the communist authorities on Moldovan territory. The law was vehemently contested by the Party of Communists, which sees it as a “grave infringement of human rights.” According to the law, political parties that use communist symbols could be deregistered, while fines could be imposed on individuals using such symbols.

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