Romania: Violent protest leaves 440 needing medical treatment

Romania: Violent protest leaves 440 needing medical treatment

Some participants scuffled with riot police when they tried to break through a police line guarding the government offices.

As the protests heated up, some threw bottles and paving slabs at riot police.

President Iohannis posted on Facebook to say he strongly condemns the violent tactics of police intervention at the protests over the weekend.

Thousands of Romanians took to the streets in the capital Bucharest as well as in other cities for a second day of protests, after on Friday, 450 people were wounded in confrontations with police.

People attend a protest in Bucharest, Romania August 10, 2018, in this image taken from social media.

Police rejected criticism from the centre-right opposition that its officers had used excessive force on Friday, saying its response to violence by dozens of protesters had been "gradual and proportionate".

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis condemned the brutal actions of the gendarmes and demanded explanations from the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Police said they had acted in a proportionate way, responding to the violent behaviour of hooligans in the crowd. They sent home just under $5 billion a year ago, a lifeline for rural communities in one of the EU's least developed countries.

Protesters briefly clear the center of the square after riot police fired teargas outside the government headquarters in Bucharest Romania
Protesters briefly clear the center of the square after riot police fired teargas outside the government headquarters in Bucharest Romania

The expatriates supporting the event in Bucharest, some of whom drove across Europe to attend, said they were angry at how Romania is being governed.

Mr Ostafi said: "I left to give my children a better life, which was not possible here then".

Protesters in Bucharest Victoriei Square on Saturday evening.

Protesters gave the gendarmes white roses and chanted "No violence!" as well as "F*ck PSD!" or "PSD, the Red Plague".

Hundreds of thousands of Romanians have signed a petition demanding a law that would ban people indicted for corruption and other offenses from political office, but it's unlikely to pass since the Social Democrats and their allies have a majority in Parliament.

This year it pushed changes to the criminal code through parliament that have raised concerns from the European commission and USA state department.

Romania ranks as one of the EU's most corrupt states and Brussels keeps its justice system under special monitoring. The changes are being challenged in the constitutional court.

Podut said: "Almost all of the public sector is malfunctioning, it must be changed completely and replaced with capable people".

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