Save Romania Union (USR) Chairman Dan Barna asked on Thursday to the Interior Minister and the head of the Romanian Gendarmerie, Carmen Dan and Sebastian Cucos, to resign, claiming that “they turned the Romanian Gendarmerie into Liviu Dragnea’s armed hand” at the Wednesday’s protest from Victoriei Square.
“USR is strongly and explicitly asking for the resignation of the Interior Minister, Ms. Carmen Dan, and of the head of the Romanian Gendarmerie, Mr. Sebastian Cucos, since yesterday they turned the Romanian Gendarmerie into Liviu Dragnea’s armed hand. It is inadmissible for a European state that Gendarmerie acts like before the ‘90s, thus becoming a tool auctioning at the order of a political party” stated the USR Chairman Dan Barna.
He added that the Wednesday’s protest was “a demonstration of force of the police state into which PSD is trying to turn Romania”.
More than 4,000 people protested on Wednesday for approx. five hours, in Victoriei Square from Bucharest, against the amendment of the Criminal Codes. During the protest, there have been altercations between protesters and gendarmes; eight people – including a German journalist – have been picked up by the police forces and taken to the Police Station. Dozens of protesters sat down on the road as a protest, shoving the police forces. Traffic was partially blocked in that area.
On Wednesday evening, Bucharest Gendarmerie announced that six protesters who blocked the road traffic on Aviatorilor Boulevard in the Victoriei Square area, were picked up and taken to the police station in order to be heard. Two other protesters were fined by RON 4,500 earlier.
The German journalist picked up by the Gendarmerie during the protests of Wednesday evening was fined by RON 500
The German journalist that was picked up at the protests of Wednesday evening was fined by RON 500. The Gendarmerie’s representatives mentioned that although he claimed that he is a representative of the press, he couldn’t prove this with an official document and that he had the obligation, however, to have a proper behavior.
“The Romanian Gendarmerie sanctions the unappropriated behavior of a person, regardless of his or her quality. The person in question forced the gendarmes’ group that was placed on the crosswalk on Aviatorilor Boulevard, for which reason he was picked up and taken to the Police Station where he was sanctioned with a contravention fine of RON 500” the Bucharest Gendarmerie representatives stated.
The quoted source also mentions that although Paul Arne Wagner claimed he is a journalist, he didn’t produce an official document to certify this quality.
“Wearing at sight a badge inscribed “PRESS” is not an official document. On the other hand, we reiterate that, regardless of the professional quality of any person who takes part at this kind of public events, that person must have a proper behavior and respect the directions of the police forces who are in the street to ensure peace and safety of all the citizens” the Gendarmerie also stated.
Iordache: I think police forces did their job
Former Justice Minister, PSD MP Florin Iordache, said on Thursday that police forces “did their job” at the protest of Wednesday evening from Victoriei Square; he also said that he is sure that the German journalist breached a rule, since he was picked up by gendarmes.
“I think that police forces did their job. Police forces must keep minimal conditions for those who wish to travel. If I, or you, want to walk on that area, without having anything to do with the protests, why should our right to freely circulate be infringed? If they want to protest, as far as I know there is a place there where they can protest, they can say what their complaints are” Florin Iordache stated.
He added that gendarmes weren’t overzealous when they picked up a German journalist.
“If he breached the law, it’s very good that they detained him. The law must apply for both Romanians and foreigners. I am sure that when police forces arrest someone, that person breached a regulation” Iordache also said.
Wagner: Why did the Gendarmerie create “diversion and chaos”, although the protesters proved to be peaceful during more than 500 days of protests?
The journalist wonders, on his Facebook page, why the Gendarmerie created “diversion and chaos”, although the protesters proved to be peaceful during more than 500 days of protests.
“We remember that the Romanian Gendarmerie was almost completely absent from the rally of the ruling parties, we have documented this, too. I am ok, than you for your messages, I only have a knee bruise. But my thoughts are going to all the people who have been hit today by the state’s armed hand, picked up and abused, as I see in the videos of my colleagues from Passport Productions, which we will publish tomorrow. For these hit and bruised people, no one called to the German Embassy, to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs or to other institution that were immediately informed about what happened to me – a German journalist. Good news is: Dragnea’s armed hand ends there. Maybe you are taken to the police station, but you stay there a little bit, you are abusively fined and you go back to the protest. I even heard some talks between the policemen who went out for having a cigar, asking themselves how they can do their job if the amendments to the Criminal Code will enter into force. I am sorry that Romanians have to fight once again for freedom in 30 years, but I am with you. Don’t let yourself intimidated by abuses!” Paul Arne Wagner wrote.
He also concluded that, after the documentation during the protests that lasted over one year, the Gendarmerie became an institution “out of control, an oppressive force that is making systematic abuses”.
“I saw a mess today at the police station. Almost at midnight, gendarmes were going in and out of the rooms, people were brought, including old people, with whom the “bodies” didn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, the gendarme that brought me there himself, with cloudy eyes and an extremely violent behavior, like a brute, stood only by me at the police section, although I told him that he is there only to intimidate me and I would like him to go out. I was accused of contradictory things, different things from one gendarme to another, lies, they told me that I was allegedly aggressing them, and so on. Then, something strange happened and they tried to make me sign a warning “in order for me not to be fined”. And then I can go. But they didn’t even let me read it, so I couldn’t sign it!” the journalist also wrote.
Orban: How afraid should Dragnea be of people to order such aggressive interventions to the gendarmes, who had no motivation? Gendarmes shouldn’t blindly listen the orders received from politicians who are against democracy
PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban is wondering how afraid should the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea be, since he ordered the gendarmes to intervene aggressively at the protest of Wednesday evening in the Victoriei Square. Orban claims that nothing can justify the gendarmerie’s intervention, since there is a high tension in society anyway, and gendarmes “shouldn’t blindly listen to the orders from politicians who are against democracy”.
“How afraid should Dragnea be of people to order such aggressive interventions to the gendarmes, who had no motivation? For a year and a half, all the anti-PSD protests have been civilized, peaceful. Nothing can justify the force, disproportionate, intimidating intervention, of the gendarme units since the last evening. There is a high tension in society anyway. Such a behavior of the police forces is only adding gas on fire. Gendarmes shouldn’t blindly listen the orders received from politicians who are against democracy” Ludovic Orban wrote on Thursday on his Facebook page.