Romania’s ombudsman challenges quarantine law for 2nd time. PM slams move, says public health more important

Sursa foto: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea

Romania’s ombudsman on Friday has called on the top court to declare unconstitutional a law that allows authorities to quarantine and isolate people who have been infected with the coronavirus or have been in contact with patients.

The move to challenge the new law was viewed as politically motivated ahead of elections next month.

It was the second time the ombudsman has challenged the issue at the Constitutional Court. On Friday, ombudsman Renate Weber argued the new law passed by Parliament on July 17 didn’t guarantee people’s fundamental rights.

The move drew a rebuke from prime Minister Ludovic Orban who said the ombudsman was “attacking the fundamental interests of Romania.”

“I personally don’t understand where things are going. The persistence in attacking fundamental laws which allow the government and health authorities to fight against the epidemic and protect people’s health and life, seems to be an attack against the fundamental interest of Romania,” he said.

Weber, a former human rights lawyer and European Parliament lawmaker, belongs to a party that is in opposition to the center-right Liberal government.

In June, the ombudsman asked the Constitutional Court to declare quarantine measures illegal saying restrictions to individual liberties needed to be clearly defined in law, including who could impose quarantine, in what conditions, and for how long.

Parliament fast-tracked new legislation which came into effect on July 21, but thousands of patients walked out of hospitals during a legislative void.

The government says the recent spike in coronavirus cases with more than 1,000 cases reported for the past 16 days, bar one, was rooted in the legislative void.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here