August 11, 2018 UPDATE
Military prosecutors initiate criminal investigation concerning the intervention of riot police on Friday night
PROTESTS Romanian military prosecutors have initiated a criminal investigation concerning the intervention of riot police during Friday night’s rally in Bucharest. Also on Saturday, President Klaus asked the Prosecutor General of Romania Augustin Lazăr to immediately initiate investigations into the gendarme intervention on Friday night in Victoriei Square, the Presidency announced in a news release. The head of state requested the Prosecutor General to identify the participants in the violent clashes in the Romanian capital city and their involvement and responsibility for the events. PM Viorica Dăncilă requested an immediate and comprehensive report from the Romanian Intelligence Service regarding the entities that instigated the violence on Friday night, the Government announced in a news release on Saturday. The PM firmly condemned the violent clashes in Bucharest, caused by organised groups that highjacked an anti-corruption rally of Romanian expats. Over 450 people, including 35 gendarmes, received medical treatment further to the clashes, a gendarme spokesperson told a press conference on Saturday. According to him, riot police had orders from the Prefect of Bucharest to take tough action in Victoriei Square on Friday night. The gendarme spokesman added that 8 criminal cases have been initiated so far. Some 100,000 people gathered on Friday in front of the Government headquarters in Bucharest, at a rally of Romanian expats, joined by many locals. Also on Friday, in several cities in the country, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to voice their solidarity with the protest of diaspora members, shouting anti-government slogans. The protesters, disgruntled with the current government formed by the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, demanded the resignation of the cabinet and early elections. There were clashes between the protesters and the gendarmes, and riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Police reported the presence of groups of provocateurs in front of the Government headquarters. The gendarmes moved in after some of their colleagues were attacked.