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    Posted December 27, 2013 by
    Bucharest, Romania
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    Pungesti - human rights violated, conclusions of APADOR-CH report.


    APADORCH authorities consider that the conflict state is idling around the commune and the presence of the security force officers in a such a great number, as the continuous, no reasonable or explainable self identify of the passengers are of a such a nature that make angry even more the people around. On a lack of official informing, on the villages streets, unchecked hearsay is passing by, fact that could lead to an undesirable intensification in any moment. Indigenous people heard from TV that a special zone of public security was initiated but they do not know what exactly that means (what they are supposed to do and what their rights are in this situation) Villagers that were victims of force order officers’ violence are afraid to make petitions. The ones that were not directly harmed are afraid they will become victims also. Pungesti Commune looks besieged.


    The most violent recent events in Pungesti, chronological order


    14 October 2013
    The first meeting of about 100 villagers from Pungesti took place on 14th october 2013 when they gathered around the ground where the gas will be exploited. The people who gathered in Pungesti were checked by the gendarmes, who abusively exposed people claiming a higher level of security checking. There were some argues among villagers and gendarmes but things went somewhat peacefully.

    16 October 2013
    The second protest was held on 16-th October 2013, when 200 villagers blocked a highway in order to highlight in front of the authorities the fact that they do not agree with damp gas exploiting in the area and to avoid the building of the rigs on their field. Around 500 gendarmes were fiercely fighting with villagers to make them unblock the highway, even if people were old or young, harming even a child who was among them. It should be specifically said that the highway which was blocked by the villagers, which connects Vaslui and Garceni, is not a heavy traffic one. After unblocking the highway gendarmes were fiercely harming the people, villagers and protesters, using their sticks and their feet. About 5 persons have been taken to the hospital.


    2nd December 2013
    On 2nd of December 2013 the most violent fight between protesters and gendarmes has taken place. Security force officers, in a massive number, wearing mask and using shields, tear gas and sticks have been entering in force into the protesters tent, which was located on a private ground, at 4 AM with the purpose to make the 20 protesters go away. As a result of this violence many protesters were put into vehicles and taken away to the Police Station from Vaslui. On this period of time protesters were prived of their mobile phone to not be able to communicate. Some of them have received penalties. As a consequence almost 150 villagers have been helping the protesters from the camping tent to oppose against the Security force officers’ and blocked the highway. Violence acts took place all the day long and gendarmes have blocked the traffic on the highway with metallic fences. The area was completely isolated until the second day. Also the journalists access was denied and very few could report from the site of the events. Thus, the most news were based on what gendarmes declared.


    7 decembrie 2013
    The most recent challenging took place on 7th December 2013 when gendarmees again used force to put the protesters on a run and blaming them that they want to put down the fence that surrounds Chevron base. Again there were several people taken to the Police Station put to identity and fingerprint checking. This time the intervention of the gendarmes aimed avoiding protesters to stay in the camping tent placed on the private field of a villager that allowed them on a written contract bases to use the field for free. At the visit time, APADOR-CH team could observe that the tent is actually there but there is no one inside. It can’t even be otherwise because gendarmes forbade to rest around.


    Authorities position
    Public Authorities: Town Hall
    The Team of APADORCH has been discussing with the commune Vice-Mayor, Vasile Voina. The Mayor, Mircia Vlasa, even if present in the Town Hall and asked for coming to discuss with APADORCH team, they took a car and went away. The Vice-Mayor declared that the Town Hall authorities weren’t announced officially through a document of any special security orders in the area. Not even by non-official means the Town Hall authorities seem to have been correctly told, at least by gendarmes representatives. The Vice-Mayor declared also that between May and June there were 2 public debates into the hall of residence on Chevron investments subject. Regarding allowing caroling on Christmas he said that the young people may go caroling.


    After endless, uncertain answers and faulty orders of Police Officers in the area, regarding identity and place where the chief is, the APADOR-CH team was told that the actions of Police Officers in Pungesti area are conducted by commissioner-chief Catalin Popa, deputy of Police Inspectorate Vaslui. He was in Pungesti commune at the time when APADOR-CH tried to speak to him. Afterwards he was found on the Police Station Inspectorate where he accepted a short debate on the subject.
    Catalin Popa commissioner-chief was asked to give information regarding the legal aspects of security order officers at Pungesti and also the size and the characteristics of the rig on the field. The commissioner-chief refused to give answers to almost all of the questions claiming that they are secret information. He only said that there is a decision regarding a special public security zone, decision which might have been took by the head of Vaslui Municipal Police (which is correct legally speaking, but senseless keeping in mind that Pungesti area is not in the Vaslui municipal but in the Vaslui county) and that this must be done on unlimited time. The APADORCH team reminded him that people from the affected area should be informed of these actions which affects their fundamental rights and asked him real and immediate actions on this aspect.
    Gendarmes on Pungesti commune denied to speak in any way with APADOR-CH team and instead recommended to ask the public relations representative of the Vaslui County Gendarmes Inspectorate.
    Security force Officers fiercely fight against protesters from Pungesti commune several times. in the context where the most of the villagers are afraid to claim, we ask the Vaslui Courts to self denounce and investigate the abuses of the Security force officers over the villagers. (From public information we know that the Courts have in progress tens of files against protesters and some claims against gendarmes made by the ecologists)  
    Essential Constitutional rights, of Pungesti commune people protesters or not, are violated. People from Pungesti were forbidden to freely circulate (Art. 25) and express their opinion (Art. 30). informing right (art 31), free gathering right (Art 39) Under claiming public order maintenance and without any official public information, villagers live today like under besiege. APADOR-CH considers that the decision of rising a public security special zone is excessive and asks for its cancelling. We remember that some rights and fundamental freedoms can be restricted, following CEDO, only if there are 3 conditions simultaneously fulfilled: to be foresight by the law, to pursue a legitimate aiming and to be required in a democratic society. The last of these requirements asks among other things that the actions of restriction must be in a proportion with the aim to be followed.



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