Romanian policemen made fools of themselves at international level. Lots of anti-NATO militants were taken to the police station yesterday and some of them hand-cuffed, but with no legal reason. The protection officers broke the entry to a store room belonging to a factory in Bucharest, a store room the manager had rented. They took the tenants to the police station claiming they had documents against the North Atlantic Alliance.
At first the Police failed to provide a coherent explanation on why they picked up the anti-NATO activists. A few hour later they admitted the latter had committed no crime. Moreover, Police officials said the freedom of speech was settled in the Constitution and made up an attack against the guardians watching the factory in Bucharest. And the ZIUA reporters went through authorities' abuses themselves. You can watch the video showing the police retaining us because of one single poster on www.ziua.ro.
When leaving our editorial offices, situted on a street very close to the University Square, we took one knapsack on which we wrote NO NATO! NO WAR! We were not protesting, we were not yelling. We were just walking a few hundred meters away from the forbidden zone, far from the security area. We had no problem with some police groups who didn't notice us. But right behind the Romanian Athenaeum some agents noticed the knapsack. They ran summoning us to stop. And we did stop. They asked to see our IDs. While we were showing them, they confiscated the piece of paper with the NO NATO! NO WAR! But they didn't say why. We were polite when asking why they stopped us. "Because of orders!" they answered. But the policemen couldn't tell us the legal grounds on which we were being retained. Police chief Vasile Gheorghe Pana was called to the place and they reporterd having caught "the two anarchists". After looking us up and down, the chief gave a brief direction: "Check their papers and sack them!" And he let the team continue the mission.
The community officers hurrying to the place to give a hand to the Interior Ministry police were obviously irritated with our questions. There followed an argument with the community agents making use of their status. Agent no. 20200 and agent no. 20427 from the Bucharest Community Police yelled at us. They minded that, when answering a question, we said: "We aren't as smart as the Community Police." They replied: "Please don't offend us!". Agent no. 20200 was obviously annoyed, claiming we were actually calling them stupid. Then he warned we would be fined, unless we were behaving. So we felt that, had there been no other agents around, the two would have beaten us. (...)
They took us to Police Station 1 by car. The chief officer went in with our papers, leaving us on the loungs under the strict protection of a Police Academy student. About a quarter of an hour later, after the policemen had found out we were no demonstrators, but journalists, the chief officer came out to give us the papers back and tell we were free.