Dozens of face-covered officers took action yesterday in Bucharest to evacuate about 50 persons who had rented a store room belonging to a caompany called the SC Flaros SA. The policemen retained most of them because of information that the people were watching anti-war films and had anti-NATO materials. One young lady who would neither tell her name nor be photographed told us: "They beat us when coming down upon us in the store room and they also beat us in the bus taking us to the police station. They threatened they would kill us unless we kept our mouths shut."
According to Bucharest Police spokesman Christian Ciocan, the police was announced by the guardian of the factory that several persons and a car loaded with paint and other material had forced the entry, although told they were not allowed to get in. He argued the Police did not go to the place because there was an anti-NATO event, for it was known the store room was rented for "an event". The Police official mentioned the people were taken to the station so that the policemen could identity the ones who had aggressed the manager of the company and the guardian.
4 people who left the Police Station 11 last evening said one of the persons sacked got beaten by the officers. According to statements, the aggressed was still in Police Station 12 last evening, he was not taken to the hospital and he did not get medical attendance. Bjorn Kietzman told the press he was a journalist and he came to Bucharest for an interview he could no longer make. He showed a document proving he was a journalist indeed.
Press Monitor Agency coordinator retained
According to the Press Monitor Agency, authorities' action is abuse and response out of place. Pro Democracy leader Cristian Parvulescu comments: "Those in charge of the NATO summit security took action on grounds of presumptions, breaking the basic right to protest and to the freedom of expression."
Press Monitor Agency coordinator Razvan Martin said he was retained by policemen and taken to Police Station 10 in Bucharest. Mircea Toma, a president of the Press Monitor Agency, explained: "Martin was in his own car driven by a policeman and escorted by another car to Station 10. They didn't tell him officially that he was retained, but he is neither free, for a free man drives his own car." But Bucharest Police chief Marian Tutilescu claimed Martin was not retained. And Razvan Martin was set free at about 7:00 p.m., after announcing he had a lawyer.
Valid rent contract
The 'anti-NATO demonstrators' told us they were having a cultural event in a private space. The youth rented a store room from a company in Bucharest and they claimed they gathered there to work on a project to promote peace in the world. They said they were affiliated to no organization and were no adepts of violence. Gabriel C. argued: " We arranged an event any citizen could attend. There was no restriction and no need of special permission. We thought about going out in the streets too, but we were warned we would get no authorization and we gave up."
In the building there were 50 people: Germans, Britons, Moldovans, Austrians and Romanians.
The rent contract no. 534 on which they had paid 635 Euro plus the VAT was to come into force today and be up in April 7, 2008.