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Gay Soldier Wins Harassment Lawsuit in Moldova

The Moldovan Defence Ministry and a military unit will have to pay 120,000 lei [6,000 euros] in compensation to former soldier Marin Pavlescu who was battered and mocked in the army for being gay, according to a court decision issued on Thursday.

The incident happened about two years ago, and the man decided to sue the institutions responsible for abusive behaviour.

According to the Chisinau Court, the 2nd Motorized Infantry Bridafe “Stefan Cel Mare” must pay Pavlescu 50,000 lei as moral damage for harassment based on his sexual orientation.

The Defence Ministry must also pay him 50,000 lei as moral damages for violating his right to respect and protection. The two entities must jointly pay him another 20,000 lei for expenses incurred during the trial.

“I didn’t know I would be hit practically every day,” Pavlescu said during the hearings that took place in June 2023, after his superior officers and colleagues learned that he was gay.

Because of the systematic violence, Pavlescu said he often had bruises, a fact that alerted his mother. According to Pavlescu, the army psychologist convinced him to endure the abuse and said the situation would improve.

After the court’s decision, Pavlescu wrote on Facebook that he did not feel justice was fully served and that he would appeal the decision, to further defend his rights.

“I remember what I went through during my military service, for six-and-a-half months, and after I decided not to return to the military unit. I remember all the discrimination, the physical violence and the nonsense I was subjected to,” wrote Pavlescu.

The Defence Ministry did not comment on the ruling. Previously, the ministry lawyer stated that the army prepares “young people to defend their country and is not interested in their [sexual] orientation”.

“Military service is not a domestic environment. There are unwritten rules. Soldiers find reasons for hostility,” the lawyer said during the trial.

Source : BalkanInsight