Romania's APADOR-CH human rights watchdog is calling for increased punishments for police abuses against citizens in the context of amending the Criminal Code, in addition to the Interior Ministry's (MAI) proposal for tightened up punishment for assault on a public official.
"APADOR-CH is calling on the MPs, who are interested in achieving a balance in society, to urgently initiate a bill to be debated simultaneously with the current draft of the MAI, regarding the modification of the offence of abusive behaviour (Article 296 in the Criminal Code) so that the offence, regardless of how committed (in the form of verbal or physical aggression), should no longer be fineable, but punishable by imprisonment, with the sentence limits to be increased by 1/2 (instead of a current 1/3), as well as an increase in punishment for abusive search, ill treatment, torture, unjust repression," the organisation said Friday in a press statement.
APADOR-CH is also drawing attention to the fact that the tightening up of punishments in the Criminal Code should not be done "solely in favor of the authority", but also of the citizens. "With the tightening up of punishments for assault on a public official, similar treatment should be applied to punishments for abusive conduct, abusive search, ill-treatment, torture, unfair repression, offences the police may commit. While in the case of assault on a public official the author is the citizen and the victim the policeman, in the case of abusive behaviour or abusive search it is the opposite: the author is the policeman and the victim is the citizen. It requires a balance of regulations in criminal matters, whereby both the citizens and the police officers may be equally protected against each other's abuses / aggressions."