Police were alleged to have used arbitrary and disproportionate force during anti-austerity and anti-government demonstrations. Local authorities in the towns of Baia Mare and Piatra Neamț carried out large-scale forced evictions of Roma. The European Parliament called on Romanian authorities to open a new investigation into their involvement in the CIA-led rendition and secret detention programmes.
The government fell twice in 2012. Following weeks of protests against austerity measures, the cabinet of Emil Boc (Democratic Liberal Party) resigned in February. In April, after another wave of protests, the cabinet of the Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu lost a vote of no-confidence. The President appointed an interim Prime Minister, Victor Ponta (Social Democratic Party), whose party then won the majority of the seats in the December parliamentary elections.
In a vote on impeachment, the Romanian parliament suspended the President in July. The vote followed allegations made by the government that the President had breached the Constitution. The subsequent referendum on the suspension was invalid due to a low turnout and the President remained in office.
In July, the European Commission expressed serious concerns over respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Romania.Top of page
Incidents of violence between demonstrators and the police during the anti-government protests in January gave rise to allegations of excessive use of force by police officers. Media reports and video footage showed police using excessive force against seemingly peaceful demonstrators who were not offering any resistance. The NGO APADOR-Helsinki Committee documented several cases of abuses by the police during the demonstrations. It concluded that some of the law enforcement officers’ actions had been arbitrary and disproportionate. In February, the Ministry of Administration and Interior stated that four criminal complaints relating to the behaviour of police officers during the demonstrations were being investigated. No charges had been brought by the end of the year.Top of page
Right to education
In October, the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe stated that Roma children were still being placed in schools for children with disabilities, in separate schools or in separate classrooms.
Local authorities continued to forcibly evict and relocate Roma to inadequate and segregated housing.
In September, a legislative proposal was put before parliament to introduce mandatory counselling for pregnant women that would, among other things, result in additional expenses and possibly prolonged waiting periods for those seeking abortions.Top of page
The European Parliament issued a report in September calling on all EU member states, including Romania, alleged to have hosted secret CIA detention centres, to comply with their absolute legal obligation to conduct an independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigation into their involvement in the rendition and secret detention programmes. The report called on the authorities to open a new investigation in light of the identification by former US officials of a secret detention site in the capital, Bucharest, and in light of evidence of rendition flights linking Romania with Poland and Lithuania, other states alleged to have hosted secret CIA sites.