Published: 27 Apr 2010
Ciubotaru v Moldova
Case No. 27138/04
Judgment date: 27/04/10
When the territory of Moldova became part of the Soviet Union, the Soviet authorities recorded each individual’s ethnic identity. The ethnic identity of representatives of the main ethnic group of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic was normally registered as Moldovan. Consequently, the applicant’s parents, born in Romania, and the applicant were recorded as ethnic Moldovan on their Soviet identity cards.
From 2002 the applicant repeatedly applied to the Moldovan authorities to have his Soviet identity card replaced and his ethnicity changed from Moldovan to Romanian, arguing that he did not consider himself to be Moldovan, an ethnic group he believed to be an artificial creation of the Stalinist regime.
According to national law, the applicant could change his ethnic identity only if he could show that one of his parents had been recorded as being of Romanian ethnicity. The applicant alleged a breach of his right to respect for private life as a result of the authorities’ refusal to register his ethnicity as declared by him.
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