The Head of the Romanian Gendarmerie forwarded to the Interior Ministry on Monday the report on the incidents that occurred at the public rally organised in Victoriei Square, a report that Interior Minister Dragos Tudorache had requested on Saturday.
Approximately 2,500 people took part on Saturday in a march organised by the ‘Action 2012’ Unionist Platform, on the Unirii Square – University Square – Romana Square – Victoriei Square route.
The incidents started in Victoriei Square when the participants wanted to enter Victoriei Boulevard. Dissatisfied they were not allowed to continue their march, some of the protesters scuffled with gendarmes. Five of them were taken out from the crowd and taken to a police precinct to be ID-ed. Subsequently, four of them were fined 3,000 Lei each for instigating public disorder. George Simion, the leader of unionist protesters, was among them.
In the report, the Gendarmerie points out that its intervention at the rally was in line with procedures, was not forceful, pepper spray and batons were not used and only a line of gendarmes was formed to prevent the protesters from blocking a road. Moreover, five persons were taken out of the crowd so that the rest of the protesters would not coalesce and block the public road.
According to ministry sources quoted by news.ro, the report shows that the gendarmes did not intervene forcefully at the rally organised by unionists in Victoriei Square, because this would have entailed the use of pepper spray, batons, and tear gas. Instead, gendarmes used the procedure of blocking access by forming a cordon, in line with Gendarmerie procedures.
In what concerns the five persons taken to custody, the Gendarmerie points out that they were not detained but only taken out from the crowd, in line with procedures. The measure targeted those who were instigating protesters to break through the line of gendarmes, and was taken so that the rest of the protesters would not coalesce and occupy the public road.
In what concerns the fact that the protesters were not allowed to enter Victoriei Boulevard, the Gendarmerie points out that a festival was scheduled in George Enescu Square on Saturday.
The Gendarmerie also points out that footage shows the way gendarmes intervened at the unionist rally that took place in Victoriei Square on Saturday.
Bucharest Gendarmeries Spokesperson Georgian Enache stated for News.ro that the protesters were not allowed to enter Victoriei Boulevard because they lacked the permit to take that route back to University Square. He pointed out that the permit was issued for the Unirii – Hanul lui Manuc – University Square – Romana Square – Victoriei Square route, without a march back to University Square.
Ciolos points out why he did not meet unionists: I don’t want to enter electoral debates
Dacian Ciolos revealed on Monday the reason why he did not answer the unionists’ request to hold talks with them on the topic of unification with Bessarabia, pointing out that he does not want to enter electoral debates and the incumbent Government has only two months left before the elections and he could not have talked about what will happen after that.
“They (the unionists – editor’s note) were fairly clear that they want talks with politicians who are preparing their governing platforms. We have two months of governance left, I don’t see what we could have talked about what is going to be done afterward. (…) I don’t want to enter electoral debates. I remind you that there will be presidential elections this weekend in Chisinau. We will soon enter the elections campaign. I believe such talks should take place with the leaders of political parties, just as has happened and it’s very good this way,” Ciolos said before taking part in an event related to the preparations for Romania’s take-over of the EU presidency in 2019.
Interior Minister announces disciplinary inquiry at Gendarmerie: “Those identified as being involved in that incident will be subjected to verifications”
nterior Minister Dragos Tudorache announced on Monday that a disciplinary inquiry is being carried out in what concerns the gendarmes seen standing alongside protesters lying on the ground, after the participants to the public rally tried to break through the line of law enforcement officers.
“The Gendarmerie used a purely defensive, not an offensive deployment. The deployment sought to block access on routes other than those approved. Even when the attempt was made to break through the line, no offensive equipment – batons, tear gas, shields – was used, contrary to some speculations. Two of the four organisers were physically immobilised, and were led to the police precinct. Only here we can talk about [use of] force. These pinpoint incidents are the elements for which I asked the Gendarmerie to establish a disciplinary inquiry commission. (…) We are talking about a small group, that group’s attempt to push through the line of gendarmes and to enter Victoriei Boulevard. For that pinpoint intervention, we will carry out a disciplinary investigation. (…) We saw two people being placed on the ground, the Gendarmerie says they themselves laid down. (…) We will ask for a written approval from the National Data Protection Authority, because we have no problem putting the footage at your disposal. The Commission will analyse the recordings and those identified as being involved in this incident will be subjected to verifications,” Interior Minister Dragos Tudorache stated at a press conference.
“There was an attempt for mediation with the [public rally’s] organisers but it was clear what the goal was. They said it very clearly that they planned to reach University Square where they wanted to set up tents. We saw a peaceful rally for a beautiful cause. At the tense moment, it deviated for reasons that have nothing to do with the Gendarmerie. (…) The haste with which certain politicians are bringing discredit is somewhat curious in my view,” Tudorache added.