Tens of thousands of Romanians rally against government plan to pardon inmates

January 30, 2017 11:00 am
Tens of thousands of people have rallied across against government plans to pardon thousands of prisoners through emergency decrees in an effort to ease prison overcrowding.
Under the plan, which was unveiled earlier this month, the government intends to pardon the convicts sentenced to less than five years for committing certain crimes and cut sentences by half for all prisoners aged over 60 and those having terminal diseases, regardless of their crime.
The plan sparked protests across the capital, Bucharest, and other main cities, including Cluj and Timosoara on Sunday. As many as 50,000 people participated in the march in Bucharest, while thousands of others protested in 22 other cities, according to police.
Protesters were shouting anti-government slogans as they gathered in freezing weather in Bucharest’s main square, Piata Universitatii, and then rallied outside the Justice Ministry and the government’s headquarters.
They asked for the resignation of Justice Minister Florin Iordache, chanting “Stop corruption,” and “No pardons, yes schools and hospitals.”

Romanians take part in a demonstration against plans to pardon thousands of prisoners, in the capital, Bucharest, January 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Justice Minister Florin Iordache is scheduled to hold a round of public consultations over the plan on Monday.
The proposals, made by the government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, have also been criticized by President Klaus Iohannis, civil rights groups, diplomats, and a top panel of magistrates.
The prime minister said on Sunday that the protests against his plans were “politicized” and criticized Iohannis for participating in a similar demonstration a week ago.
Romania’s top prosecutor has also criticized the plan, which critics say would benefit those allies of the ruling Social Democratic Party who have been convicted of corruption.
Under the plan, the government also intends to decriminalize official misconduct that involves financial damage valued at less than 47,800 dollars. Pregnant women and prisoners with young children would also be pardoned regardless of their crimes.
According to the government, the plan would lead to the release of 2,500 prisoners, but prison authorities say at least 3,700 prisoners would be freed.
Skip to toolbar
shared on wplocker.com