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September 30, 2022
POLITICS

Controversial draft law for “combatting the Romanophobia”

A draft law signed by parliamentarians of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), as well as of the Save Romanian Union (USR) and Social Democrat Party (PSD), “preventing and combatting Romanophobia”, provides that people who are promoting anti-Romanian ideas or doctrines are punished by three years in prison, while “forming an anti-Romanian group” is punished by 10 years in prison. The draft law sparked controversy; one of the initiators, PMP MP Marius Pascan, reacted by saying that “the anti-Romanian propaganda started aggressively” and that as long as the Parliament adopts a law combatting anti-Semitism, the same approach should be considered regarding Romanophobia. In fact, the draft law submitted by the PMP deputy is identical to the law passed by the Parliament on anti-Semitism; only the first term is replaced with “Romanophobia”. Pascan explained on Saturday, on Facebook, that “Romanophobia has an old history, being present since the medieval period, when the Romanian people were only tolerated”.

 

The provisions of the draft law: 3 months to 3 years in prison for promoting anti-Romanian ideas, 3 years t 10 years in prison for forming an anti-Romanian organization

 

According to the draft law “combatting Romanophobia” that was submitted to the Senate and initiated by the PMP MP Marius Pascan, promoting anti-Romanian ideas and doctrines is punished by 3 months to 3 years in prison and the prohibition of certain rights, while distributing anti-Romanian materials and making them available to the public is a crime and is punished by one year to five years in prison.

Also, making, selling, distributing and holding anti-Romanian symbols, and using them in public is punished by 3 months to 3 years, while forming an anti-Romanian organization is punished by 3 years to ten years in prison and the prohibition of certain rights.

The draft states that there will be no punishment for people denouncing the existence of such an organization.

 

PMP MP Marius Pascan, the initiator of the draft law: As long as the Parliament adopts a law preventing and combating anti-Semitism, I don’t see why we wouldn’t have the same approach on Romanophobia?!

 

PMP MP Marius Pascan says that if Parliament adopted a law combating anti-Semitism, we should have the same approach on preventing and combating Romanophobia.

In fact, the draft laws on combating anti-Semitism, respectively Romanophobia, are identical, and only the term “anti-Semitism” is replaced with “Romanophobia”.

“Various malicious speculations and remarks arose in the public space, and some people have suddenly become angry about the legislative proposal on preventing and combating Romanophobia. It’s typical for those who use the anti-Romanian propaganda instruments in order to disinform. In the spirit of a correct and objective information, of the respect for truth, I have joined in the attached images, for clarification purposes, a fair comparison of the draft laws that are almost identical. As long as we wish, and the Parliament adopts a law preventing and combating anti-Semitism, I don’t see why we wouldn’t have the same approach on Romanophobia?!” Marius Pascan wrote on his Facebook page, also attaching images with the two similar draft laws.

Saturday, in a new Facebook message, Marius Pascan spoke about an “anti-Romanian propaganda”.

Along with his explanations, the PMP deputy also posted a collage in which images with saints, with Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) and Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) were put together in the outline of the Romania map, saying that “Romanophobia is a current that acts aggressively, consisting of a fight against the expressions affirming the Romanian identity”, and adding that “the Romanian people are discriminated”.

“The provisions of this law are as available as possible and identically applicable for preventing and combating Romanophobia, a current that is supported and that acts and proliferates more and more aggressively.  Romanophobia is a form of the fight against all the expressions affirming the Romanian identity, contesting the legitimate national sovereignty of the Romanian nation, and expressing ideas, concepts, doctrines or public policies related to xenophobia regarding the Romanian nation, or to its negative discrimination” Marius Pascan explained.

“We believe that such hostile manifestations against the Romanian state, which are outside the provisions of the Romanian Constitution, affecting Romania’s territorial integrity, national values or the memory of the heroes of the Romanian nation, must be prevented and combated. We could recently see more and more clearly the necessity of expanding the forms of legal protection deriving from the obligation of respecting and applying articles 1 and 12 of the Romanian Constitution, which underline the Romania’s character of a national, unitary and indivisible state, or which place the national symbols of the Romanian state under the fundamental law. The necessity of adopting a specific law introducing measures to prevent and combat Romanophobia derives also from the fact that the public propagation of anti-Romanian ideas, concepts and doctrines, as well as of the anti-Romanian symbols or materials, couldn’t be combated through the current legal means” Pascan also said.

He also said that adopting this law on combating Romanophobia will be an essential legislative instrument and “an expression of the strong political commitment to firmly act against all the forms of incitement to hatred, separatism, secessionism and discrimination, subordinated to the hatred against the Romanians”.

 

USR MPs withdrew their signatures from the draft law. Seidler: The law could be abusively used in the future, for political purposes

 

USR announced on Saturday that they don’t support the draft law on combating Romanophobia initiated by Marius Pascan and that they will advocate against its adoption, since the PSD-ALE majority could use it in order to turn Romania into a dictatorship.

“USR does not support the draft law on combating Romanophobia initiated by PMP. The two colleagues who signed the draft law will withdraw their signatures on Monday, and USR will advocate against its adoption. (…) The recent experience in which the PSD-ALDE coalition proposed abusive solutions in order to forcedly remove USR from the Parliament because they fight for #FaraPenali (#NoCriminals – e.n.), confirms our fears that a draft law on “combating Romanophobia” will be used for political purposes, in order to turn Romania into a dictatorship. USR advocates for the freedom of speech and will fight against the draft laws restricting the citizens’ rights and freedoms” announced USR on its Facebook page.

USR MP Cristian Seidler wrote, in his turn, that he decided to withdraw his signature from the draft law, because, although at first he thought in good faith that ethnic hatred must be combated, he realized that the provisions of the law can be abusively used for political purposes.

“I don’t believe that there is any ethnicity which superior to any other, and I believe that the legal instruments to combat ethnic hatred must be similar, no matter what ethnicity are we talking about. In short, that was the argument for which I initially signed. But I understand that the legal text could be abusively used in the future, for political purposes.  I assumed the good faith in applying the laws, and I forgot for a moment that collective political punishments were adopted right in Romania of our days, by the current majority” Seidler said, according to News.ro.

 

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