188 heard over Monday evening COVID-19 protest in Bucharest as 12 gendarmes injured

As many as 188 people have been taken to police stations after a protest rally on Monday evening in Bucharest, head of the Bucharest General Police Directorate Bogdan Berechet said on Tuesday.      Bucharest Gendarmerie Director General Ionel-Catalin Stegaroiu specified that 12 gendarmes were injured, three of whom had to go to the hospital, but they did not require special care or hospitalisation.      "All the 188 people escorted by our colleagues to the Police headquarters are currently identified, photographed, fingerprinted, and most of them have been fined. As we speak, 222 fines in excess 200,000 lei are issued, eight of them to organisers. The people identified so far are being questioned and subjected to legal action. We are conducting investigations to identify all those who caused destruction and disturbed public order and peace," Berechet said.      According to him, the Bucharest Police, under the supervision of the relevant prosecutor's offices, have started investigations into the commission of outrage, public disturbance, destruction, arson, aggravated theft, failure to comply with weapons and ammunition regulation, and criminal possession of a knife.      Berechet mentioned that shop windows, street furniture, bus stations, windows of modes of transport were destroyed.      An on-scene investigation was carried out in all cases, he said, adding that the related criminal files are to be built by the prosecutor's offices with the Bucharest District 1, 3, and 4 courthouses.      The head of the Gendarmerie showed that the protests in Piata Victoriei and Piata Universitatii over the new measures ordered by authorities to prevent the spread COVID-19 lost their peaceful nature around midnight, after several protesters left Piata Victoriei en route to Piata Romana and sat on the road for no reason.      "At one point, three people in the group changed direction. My colleagues tried to communicate with them to check their IDs and to understand their direction of movement, at which point they became recalcitrant, they even became violent. When the people were caught and immobilised, a large part of the group of demonstrators who were on the road started attacking the police officers, throwing blunt objects, stones, and causing injuries to my colleagues and material damage," said Stegaroiu. AGERPRES (RO - author: Iulia Carciog, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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