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Adrian Efros: We cannot restrict rights of citizens to ensure farmers’ right to protest

We cannot restrict the rights of particular citizens to ensure the farmers’ right to protest, Minister of Internal Affairs Adrian Efros said in reaction to the penalization of a number of farmers who blocked access to the Leușeni-Albița border crossing point. The official noted that because of the protesters, an ambulance could not come on time to provide medical assistance. Initially, the police verbally warn the protesters and fines are imposed on them if they don’t comply, IPN reports.

Several farmers, who blocked access to the Leușeni-Albița border crossing point, were fined. The minister said the police don’t tolerate law breaking and those who don’t obey the law are punished.

“As long as the protests take place in compliance with the legislation in force, the police only monitor and ensure their proper conduct. But the police will not tolerate situations when the limit of legislation is crossed and by blocking roads this limit was crossed. We, initially verbally, warned farmers not to bar the way to the Leușeni-Albița state border crossing point. Some complied, while others did not. Therefore, they have been penalized in accordance with the current legislation. We cannot restrict the rights of some of the citizens to ensure the right of other citizens to protest. We had a difficult case when an ambulance was requested at the border crossing point and farmers locked the units of transport and went away from the place the tractors were parked. Respectively, the ambulance could not provide medical assistance on time,” Adrian Efros stated in the talk show “Resumé with Ileana Pîrgaru” on RliveTV channel.

On February 17, while farmers were protesting in front of the Parliament Building, the police picked up the cars of the most vocal protesters, Vasile Costiuc and Sergiu Stefanco. The minister said the police didn’t act in a targeted way, but responded to citizens’ requests to take away the cars parked illegally.

“Not only the cars of Vasile Costiuc and Sergiu Stefanco were taken away. Several other illegally parked cars were also taken away. There were calls to 112 to free the access to particular areas of the city. It was not an intention. It was not something targeted. It was a reaction to citizens’ requests. The police do not punish anyone, unless there is a misdemeanor. Only when the participant in the protest commits an illegality, the police intervene,” said the Minister of Internal Affairs.

A new meeting of protesting farmers with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry will take place on Wednesday starting at 2 p.m. The executive director of the Farmers’ Force Association Alexandru Slusari announced that if the authorities do not respond to farmers’ demands, a new protest will be mounted on Thursday, February 22.

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