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Moldova has detailed counterterrorism legislation in its criminal code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights and the breadth of the law has been criticised by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Moldova defines an act of terrorism as follows:

setting an explosion, arson, or any other action that creates the danger of causing death, bodily injury, damage to health, vital damage to property or to the environment or other severe consequences when such an act is committed to intimidate the population or a part thereof, to draw the attention of society to the political, religious or other ideas of the perpetrator, or to force the state, international organization, legal entity or individual to commit or to refrain from committing an action, as well as threat to commit such acts for other purposes.Art. 278(1), Criminal Code of Moldova.

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe rendered a legal opinion in 2018 in which it stated that:

The definition of a “terrorist act” given by the Criminal Code is by itself too broad. For example, to be categorized as a “terrorist act” it suffices that it represents a “threat of committing” of “an act that creates the danger of … substantial damage to property or the environment … in order to draw the public attention to certain political … views of the person who committed the act”. This may include a threat to hold a labour union strike which may (probably) cause damage to the property interests, or a large and boisterous demonstration. These acts may not be polite. They may even be illegal, but they are definitely not “terrorist acts”. It may be legitimate and necessary to cope with them, but not with all the exceptional powers given to the State in case of terror. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Moldova is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Moldova is also a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The ordinary sanction for terrorist offences is six to twelve years in prison.Art. 278(1), Criminal Code of Moldova.An act of terrorism involving murder shall be punished by imprisonment for 16 to 20 years or by life imprisonment.Art. 278(4), Criminal Code of Moldova. 

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Law No. 120 on Preventing and Countering Terrorism was adopted in 2017. The law was criticised by the Venice Commission for its breadth.


Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova

Venice Commission Opinion on Moldova Antiterrorism Law