Romanian authorities enforce one of the most repressive regimes worldwide during the emergency situation imposed by COVID-19 pandemic. In just one month, Romanian authorities issued more than 200,000 fines for a total sum of more than EUR 80,000,000.
Also, in Romania the fines imposed during emergency situation are the highest in the world reported to the average monthly salary. Thus, Romanians can be fined with up to USD 4500, while the average monthly wage is lower than USD 500, often for petty violations of the curfew rules.
Examples of abusive behavior of Romanian police during emergency situation
Romanian Citizens are fined mostly for not having the self-written statements with them while leaving their houses. There was a case when a Bucharest city dweller asked for the help of his virtual friends on his Facebook account for paying the abusive fine.
Also, young Romanians are beaten by police officers for no reason or for invented reasons, sometimes just because they are gypsies. It happened near Bucharest, the Romanian capital, where young gypsies were beaten while lying on the ground unarmed. Prosecutors conduct criminal investigations in this case.
On top of that, there are cases while Romanian citizens are fined even for being found at work, while their work is essential for the community. A TV presenter was fined by Bucharest police for not having with him one statement, as he had forgot it at home, even though he had the official paper from his employer. Also, in Timisoara, near the Western border, a reporter was fined for doing his job on the street, and in a Western county a supermarket cashier was fined for being found at work.
Are these abuses exceptions?
Unfortunately not. Such abuses are just examples. In Romania, police officers commit abuses daily while “enforcing” the law and their abusive behavior, disregard of their rank or position within the Police departments keep on reaching newspapers’ front pages.
Even the Romanian minister of Interior admitted his subordinates commited abuses during the emergency situation, might they be from the National Police, the Local Police or the Gendarmerie, but he justified their behavior by saying most of the police officers are young and their single training to enforce the law meant 6 months in an NCO police school.
In our opinion, this can be a reason for the abusive behavior of the authorities, and the ministry of Interior should find ways to improve this situation, but never a justification.