As many as 1,300 fines 670,000 lei were issued nationwide to participants in protests against COVID-19 restrictive measures on Tuesday evening, according to Interior Minister Lucian Bode.
He said on Wednesday morning that 78 demonstrations took place in 39 counties and in Bucharest City.
“There were about 14,000 protesters; 11 crimes were committed nationwide under Law 55, mainly theft and violations of weapons regulations. Two criminal cases were opened in Bucharest for theft and destruction and 131 fines were handed,” said Bode, according to Agerpres.
According to him, on Sunday there were “just over 4,000 protesters,” and on Monday 76 demonstrations took place in 38 counties and in Bucharest City attended by approximately 31,000 people.
On Monday, according to the minister, 1,200 fines were issued amounting to approximately 800,000 lei, and eight criminal cases were opened for violence at protests in Bucharest. These criminal cases concern crimes of outrage, violations of weapons regulations, theft and destruction.
“The right to freedom of expression is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Unfortunately, this right has been misunderstood by a minority who have chosen to express themselves violently – they have constantly instigated, provoked law enforcement, provoked the state. The riot police reacted calmly, professionally, and also firmly when the law was violated. (…) If there are 100-200 protesters, I can assure them that we will respect their right to demonstrate, provided they follow the regulations in force. (…) Unfortunately, there are many instigators among the protesters, who are provoking the government. No, the situation did not get out of control. The protesters were constantly led in their direction, there were no aggressions in any form,” said Bode.
Simion: AUR MPs request urgent meeting with interior minister
Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) MPs will be in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Wednesday, at 10.00, to request an “urgent” meeting with Minister Lucian Bode and demand “immediate suspension of those involved in the abuses committed last night in Braila against the peaceful protesters, some of them minors,” announced party’s co-chair George Simion.
“At the same time, we demand the sanctioning of the Bucharest prefect for political partisanship and the misleading of public opinion. Alin Stoica, the capital’s prefect, said on Tuesday that those responsible for Monday’s protests that degenerated into violence are those from AUR,” Simion was quoted as saying in a press release sent to AGERPRES.
IntMin Bode: I am surprised that parliamentarians do not know the regulation
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Lucian Bode, voiced surprise, on Wednesday, with the fact that “the parliamentarians do not know the regulation”, in the context in which he found out that Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) representatives will arrive at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) to request an “urgent” meeting with him.
“If we are talking about AUR parliamentarians, it means that they have been in Parliament in vain since oath taking, because the parliamentarians get in touch with a minister from the Romanian Government institutionally, through the interpellation, the question, during the ‘Government Hour’, at the specialized committee. This is the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is not a village without dogs. (…) Parliamentarians have rights and obligations, their obligation is to know the law, to know under what conditions they can discuss with a Government member. Of course, in the transparency that characterizes us, we have talked to each one. There is no question of not talking, not explaining, but I am surprised that parliamentarians do not know the rules,” Bode said when he arrived at the MAI headquarters.
Several hundred people protested Tuesday evening in front of Cotroceni Palace
Several hundred people protested in front of the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday evening, marching down from Victoriei Square, where they gathered to protest against the measures imposed by the authorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the third day in a row, in Bucharest there were protests against the restrictions, with the participants initially gathering at the University Square, after which they marched to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, later heading to Victoriei Square, to continue the protest in front of the Government headquarters.
After about two hours, those present left for Cotroceni Palace on the route: Calea Victoriei – Regina Elisabeta Boulevard – Mihail Kogalniceanu Boulevard – Opera Square – Eroii Sanitari Boulevard.
The participants were flanked by gendarmes along the route.
For the most part without protective masks, protesters waved tricolor flags, chanted against the authorities and challenged restrictions.