Massive protests in Romania over draft pardon bill

darth vaderTens of thousands of people took to the streets in Romania’s main cities, on Sunday evening, to express their anger at the government’s plan to roll out a pardon bill that would see several thousands prisoners get out of jail earlier due to the reduction of their sentences, according to Business-Reviews.eu.

People are also protesting against planned changes to the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code. The Ministry of Justice has scheduled a public debate on these two initiatives on Monday.

Over 50,000 people were attending the protest in Bucharest, while several tens of thousands of protesters were registered across the rest of the country. For instance, some 15,000 people took to the streets in Cluj-Napoca. According to media reports, there were over 5,000 people out to protest in Timisoara and Sibiu cities. Several hundred Romanians also protested abroad. In total, approximatively 90,000 people attended the protests.

In Bucharest, the crowd of protesters gathered in the center of the city, at Universitatii Square, and went on a peaceful march that included planned stops at the media watchdog CNA, the Ministry of Justice, the HQ of the Ombudsman and the Government.

According to media reports, the controversial changes to the legal framework could be passed through Parliament, although the center-left government PSD-ALDE led by Sorin Grindeanu had initially planned to approve them through emergency ordinances.

PM Grindeanu said that he respects the right of the people to protest, adding that he had an “unpleasant surprise” when he saw president Klaus Iohannis joining the protest, last week, in Bucharest.

 

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