Interior Ministry’s new draft law discourages protests. Harsher fines and increased powers for policemen

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The Interior Ministry has released the draft law on the policeman’s statute on Thursday, with many of the amendments referring to harsher fines for the persons who refuse to show their ID cards during manifestations and to the police officers’ increased powers.

According to the current law in force, the law 61/1991 sanctioning the public order, the refuse of a person to show his/her ID card or to come to the police section at the criminal prosecution bodies’ request or invitation was sanctioned by fine from RON 100 to RON 500. Now, the ministry led by Carmen Dan wants the same contravention to be fined with RON 500 to RON 1,500.

At the same time, the draft says that certain contraventions will turn to crimes and will be punished with imprisonment. Therefore, in case people are warned “to stop the criminal activities”, but they refuse, they can risk going to prison from three months to 2 years.

Another crime facing prison from 3 months to one year is referring to the situation when “a person is publicly using offending or obscene words, expressions or gestures against a criminal prosecution or public order body, while on duty.”

Another amendment this time targeting the law 218/2002 on the organization of the Romanian Police, says that the Romanian Police is not in charge of “the citizen’s safety” anymore.

Moreover, police officers will be entitled to identify not only the law breakers, but also any other person.

A newly submitted line will allow policemen to temporarily “ban the access or presence of any person in the area where felonies or anti-social actions are committed if by that the officers’ normal activity might be affected”.

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