Over 400 injured in Bucharest during riot clashes with Police

Clashes with riot police in Romania's capital during anti-corruption protests have led to hundreds being injured

(High tensions between protesters and police erupted into violence in Bucharest Photo: Skynews)
(High tensions between protesters and police erupted into violence in Bucharest Photo: Skynews)

Violence has broken out in Bucharest, Romania, in the protests that have rallied 30,000 to 50,000 anti-government protesters tfrom across the country.

Bucharest, the nations capital, teemed with EU and Romanian flags accompanied by the sound of banging drums and chanting slogans as protesters filled the streets.

Conflict broke out with protestors threw bottles and paving slabs while riot police used pepper spray, tear gas, and a water cannon. Footage on social media show police beating non-violent protestors with holding their hands up. 10 police officers were injured and over 400 protesters requiring medical attention.

Protesters demand the resignation of the government, objecting to perceived efforts by the governing Social Democrats (PSD) to weaken the judiciary, as well as low wages and deep-rooted corruption in the country.

President Iohannis has condemned the police’s brutality, labelling it “disproportionate”, and stating that “the interior ministry must explain urgently the way it handled tonight’s events.”

Protests have been building against the PSD for months.

In July, President Klaus Iohannis approved the dismissal of anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, who had been leading corruption investigations on local and national politicians.

Around 150,000 protesters gathered in Bucharest after the Social Democrats took power last year following the government passing a decree to decriminalise several corruption offences.

Romania ranks as one of the EU’s most corrupt states, and its justice system is kept under special monitoring by Brussels.

In reponse to the insurgence, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Saturday that she firmly condemns the violent actions that took place in Bucharest on Friday evening, which she states were carried out by 'organised groups’ that apparently hijacked a citizens’ manifestation.

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