Tens of thousands rally in Romania to protest planned changes to criminal law

Tens of thousands packed the Bucharest University plaza and other citis in Romania to protest the planned pardon ordinance and the amendment of the Criminal Codes, chanting slogans, carrying tricolor banners and placards reading "Mandated to represent, not to abuse," "Crime gang, off to court", "NO to pardon, YES to schools and hospitals", "Referendum", "Stop Corruption", "No convicts at rule!"," Dragnea tatters Romania!", "PSD - the red plague!" reports Agerpress.

President Klaus Iohannis requests the Government to "abandon" the demarches regarding pardon and the amendment of the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, underlining that "the people's voice cannot be ignored."

"The Government cannot step over the citizens' will, which is sovereign. The voice of people cannot be ignored any longer! A solid democracy is one in which the majorities don't abuse their rights just because they temporary hold power. I request the Government to abandon the demarches regarding pardon and the amendments of the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code," President Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page.

He underlines that "Romania only stands to lose from extending these situations which drew tens of thousands Romanians on the street."

The draft emergency ordinances regarding pardon and the amendments of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code will be in accordance with the observations and the public consultations, which took place on Monday January 30 at the Justice Ministry, Justice Minister Florin Iordache stated.

"We will stay here today to listen all the ideas, all the opinions. We are open, so that the drafts that will leave the Justice Ministry be in accordance with the observations and the public consultations," Florin Iordache stated in the beginning of the public debate held at the Justice Ministry.

According to the Justice Ministry the event is attended by all those who showed interest regarding the two drafts, which are currently in public debate.

"We are talking about a draft law on pardon. (...) I want to tell you from the start that neither rapists, nor murderers nor the ones charged with acts of corruption, nor recidivists will benefit from it (pardon — e.n.) and the main condition that we imposed is to recover the damage. The second bill is the one that will align the Court's decisions with the Criminal Code," Iordache explained.

The Justice Minister added last week that the Constitutional Court ruled as unconstitutional another six articles of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

"In these conditions it is required to come back with amendments, after the motivations for these articles appear," Iordache stated quoted by Agerpress.

The debate held at the Justice Ministry was also attended, among others by State Secretary Constantin Sima and Director General of the National Administration of Penitentiaries Marius Vulpe.  

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