Romania: second night of protests after 450 injured in clashes
Tens of thousands gathered in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Saturday for a second straight day of demonstrations after more than 450 people were hurt and around 30 arrested in a huge anti-corruption protest on Friday.
Iran Press/Europe: Police used water cannons and teargas to disperse protesters calling on the leftwing government to resign. Many demonstrators needed treatment after inhaling pepper spray and teargas, according to hospital sources. About 30 police officers were also injured, 11 of whom were taken to hospital.
Massive crowds gathered in downtown Bucharest on Saturday night, watched by security forces as they chanted: “Down with the government” and “Justice, not corruption”.
Police rejected criticism from the centre-right opposition that its officers had used excessive force on Friday, saying its response to violence by dozens of protesters had been “gradual and proportionate”.
Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s chancellor, whose country currently holds the EU rotating presidency, criticised the violence in Bucharest, in which a cameraman working for Austria’s public broadcaster was also hurt.
Local media said up to 80,000 people had taken to the streets, among them many Romanian expatriates who returned home to show their anger at the graft in one of the EU’s most corruption-plagued member states.
About 1,000 officers in riot gear intervened to clear the crowds assembled in a central square outside the main government building after some protesters tried to break through the police cordon.
video from Reuters