Romanian political parties in conflict about protest criminal sanctions

Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) stated that it does not support the legislative proposal initiated by the National Liberal Party (PNL), which tightens criminal sanctions in case of public protests, reports Agerpres.

„In its current form, the draft law entered into debate in the Senate on Tuesday is of a nature to intimidate the organization and participation in demonstrations or protest rallies, which affects the very foundation of democracy. Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution and cannot be fenced off in any way,” states a PSD press release.

According to the social democrats, „the Romanian people are sovereign”, and citizens must have the freedom to publicly express their dissatisfaction with those elected without being intimidated by potential imprisonment.

„Therefore, PSD will not vote on the bill in its current form. During the debates, the PSD MPs will request the removal of the amendment proposed by the PNL by which those who participate in protests risk being directly sanctioned with prison because they dare to criticize the public authorities or political decisions. The draft law initiated by the PNL parliamentarians proposes the amendment of article 371 of the Criminal Code, so that the disturbance of public order, including by affecting the dignity of the person, is punished with imprisonment between 1 and 5 years or for the aggravated forms with imprisonment from 2 to 7 years. In the current form, the same acts are punishable by a fine or imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years”, the quoted source states.

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