Home / POLITICS / FM Melescanu sends message to the Euro-Atlantic partners following violence at Bucharest’s protest. Austrian Chancellor asks for explanations after journalists from ORF state TV have been beaten by Romanian gendarmes
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FM Melescanu sends message to the Euro-Atlantic partners following violence at Bucharest’s protest. Austrian Chancellor asks for explanations after journalists from ORF state TV have been beaten by Romanian gendarmes

FM Teodor Melescanu has assured Euro-Atlantic partners of Romania that our country will remain committed to the common principles and values. In a Facebook post, FM Melescanu said the violence during a peaceful rally is unacceptable, arguing it is important that the freedom of speech should not escalate in aggression. The FM talked about the Centennial Year, voicing hope that tensions in the Romanian society should not escalate beyond dialogue.”Violence at a peaceful, democratic meeting is unacceptable, peaceful protests are an example of legitimate exercise of democracy. I am convinced that a great part of those attending this manifestation have wanted to exert the fundamental right of freedom of political speech, but it is very important that it would not escalate to violence,” Melescanu says.

Austria’s Chancellor demands explanations after Austrian journalists of ORF state television have been beaten by gendarmes in Bucharest. Romanian journalists, attacked as well

During the violent actions during the Diaspora rally in Bucharest on Friday night, a TV crew broadcasting from Bucharest has been attacked by gendarmes, according to the website of the Austria state television.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has promptly reacting, asking the Romanian authorities for explanations.

We firmly condemn the violent clashes in Bucharest which left many demonstrators and journalists injured. We expect full clarification of these deeds. I wish speedy recovery to the ORF cameraman who has been injured. The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press are fundamental freedoms of the European Union that we believe in and which must be unconditionally defended,” Kurz posted on Facebook.

The ORF journalists have been assaulted when the gendarmes attacked the protesters nearby. The ORF correspondent, Ernst Gelegs, reported that a cameraman has been beaten by gendarmes with batons. He got away only after he had repeatedly shouted to the gendarmes that he is a cameraman.

Romanian journalists and photographers have also been beaten or bullied by gendarmes.

Hotnews journalist Robert Mihailescu has been punched and kicked by the gendarmes on Friday while he was reporting live from the Victoriei Square. At the end of his film, the Gendarmerie troops are seen coming in force and taking up three young man who had no hostile attitude.

A civilian man, wearing light-colored clothes, who gave orders to the gendarmes, came amidst them and dragged the journalist in the middle of the security forces, while snatching his mobile phone.

I was LIVE broadcasting the riot police intervention. The man in white clothes took me by the hand and grabbed my phone. I yelled I am a journalist and lifted my hands above my head, my press card lifted in the air. The man dragged me to the center of the riot police group and told them: take this one, too. One of the gendarmes punched me and pushed me to the back of the riot police line while a second kicked me in the back. I asked to give my phone back, telling them again that I was a journalist. A gendarme called me names and kicked me with his foot. Meanwhile, another gendarme was smashing my phone on the ground“, Robert Mihailescu recounted.

Photographer Ioana Moldovan also recounted she had got a tear gas jet in her eyes from a distance of only several centimeters. After she reproached the incident to the gendarmes, they replied to her with dirty talk: “What did you want, ****? Bloody fool, who made you come here and take photos?“, gendarmes would have said.

About Alina Grigoras Butu

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