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April 18, 2021

Arafat: Demonstrations up to 100 persons allowed; anything over this number is illegal

The State Secretary with the Ministry of the Interior, Raed Arafat, stated on Monday that demonstrations up to 100 persons will be allowed, in compliance with the rules in force also for electoral events.

“Demonstrations up to 100 persons in open spaces will be allowed, of course, but applying the same rules as for electoral events, meaning mandatory masks, distancing and the other general hygiene aspects. Another aspect referring to the Ministry of Culture was adopted, following several requests that came: the exception from quarantine of film crews and teams which are involved in productions within Romania and who come, of course, from abroad. They will be excepted from quarantine. They were excepted through another article, which is the article regarding professional activity, but this aspect needed clarification, so that we limit some bureaucratic procedures they were supposed to follow,” said Arafat at the end of the government sitting.

In what regards demonstrations, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU) has showed that, normally, law enforcement will be able to take measures if the total number of participants is exceeded.

“This is already the role of law enforcement by public order structures. Normally, if the law or the normative acts say a certain number, anything exceeding that number is illegal and measures can be taken by the police, gendarmes, from fines to other measures, if they are deemed necessary. (…) It’s a government decision, a normative act. When the normative act says that the maximum figure is 100 – the maximum figure is not 102 or 110. It’s 100. And it should be respected. And there should be from the part of the population this compliance to respect the rules. Until now they were not allowed. Now they are allowed, with a certain limit. At least let’s respect the limit. Now demonstrations are allowed, but the rules must be respected,” he said.

Asked if he is pleased with the way the rules were respected in the case of demonstrations where the wearing of masks was protested against, Arafat said that normally, those demonstrations shouldn’t have taken place.

“I cannot characterize what’s being done from a public order point of view. Normally, those demonstrations shouldn’t have taken place. Those demonstrations that are conducted without respect for the law can always be subject to some measures, which are measures specific to public order, he said, according to Agerpres.

The State Secretary showed that on Monday an online meeting of the Committee for Emergency Situations took place and that through Decision no. 45 of September 14 the prolongation of the state of alert for another 30 days was proposed. Furthermore, several proposals were put forth regarding: the electoral campaign, the day of the vote, the organization of demonstrations and events.

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