No Fracking in Romania
17th December 2013
Green MEPs have written to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to denounce the current situation in Pungești, Romania, where villagers have been lawfully protesting against Chevron’s plans to drill for shale gas and have been brutally treated by riot police, with several rights abused.
On 2 December, after several months of protests, villagers in the protest camp, on land that they had permission to be camping on, were forcibly removed by numerous riot police, using a disproportionate amount of force.
Several rights have been abused, namely the right to private property, the right to physical integrity and the rule of law, the right to free movement and the freedom of the press.
Since this date, the situation has escalated in violence, brutality and a lockdown on freedom of movement and expression.
There is a petition signed by over 40,000 calling for an immediate halt to these abuses and the Greens have also highlighted this in their appeal to Martin Schulz (See below).
Dear President Schulz,
We are writing to you concerning the breach of European Union basic principles and regulations that started in Romania with events which first took place on 2nd December 2013 in Pungesti, Romania and have been escalating since then.
The right to private property has been desecrated when a group of around 100 local residents peacefully protesting in a camp, on private property, near to the land which Chevron wish to drill on, were forcibly removed by riot police troops in battle gear.
Riot police trespassed on private property, which citizens had permission by the land-owner to be camping upon, and was not the land of Chevron’s explorations.
The right to physical integrity and rule of law have been breached when public forces were used to exercise a disproportionate amount of force on citizens and brutal physical abuse was brought upon European citizens in order to remove them from the camp.
Contrary to the free movement principle that stays at the basis of the European Union, at the request of the Romanian Government representatives a lock-down of an entire locality has been enforced. A restricted area has been established entirely arbitrarily and spanning a large surface area. The press has been banned from entering, as well as villagers, however private contractors are allowed free passage.
Moreover, the press was finally allowed access under supervision and only for a very limited period, effectively impeding on their ability to report from the area and collect testimonies from the people involved, thus infringing on the freedom of expression and right to be informed.
These are clear breaches of the rights granted to EU citizens through the European charter and a questionable rule of law. Since the events on 2nd December the freedom of movement has been further restricted through the declaration of the area as a “special area” and there has been increased police presence and further brutality, arbitrary checks and violence against citizens.
Over 40,000 people have signed a petition asking for an immediate stop to these abuses and more are joining their plea every day.
Therefore we call on you to publicly condemn the actions of the Romanian Government in ordering such brutal and authoritarian action against its own citizens, to facilitate the launch of a full investigation by the European Commission, and to act for prevention of future abuses and the establishment of rule of law in Romania.
Sandrine Bélier MEP
José Bové MEP
Reinhard Bütikofer MEP
Rebecca Harms MEP
Yannick Jadot MEP
Jean Lambert MEP
Michèle Rivasi MEP
Raül Romeva i Rueda MEP
Bart Staes MEP
Keith Taylor MEP
Claude Turmes MEP