This letter was formally transmitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs on August 8, 2019.
Dear Mr. Fifor,
The events in Caracal, Olt County, although not unique, brought to the national attention the dysfunctions of the national system of intervention and protection of the citizen, victim of crimes, the endemic corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and of the Romanian Police and the serious de-professionalization of the police workers. The past management of these institutions, as well as the current management, are guilty, from our point, of view of crimes against humanity by the criminal indifference they display in the face of the existing serious problems and the fact that they have not taken any concrete measures to try to solve them.
According to art. 1 from Law no. 218 of April 23, 2002 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Police, “The Romanian Police is part of the Ministry of Interior and is the specialized institution of the state, which exercises powers regarding the defense of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person, of private and public property, the prevention and detection of crimes, respect for public order and peace, according to the law. ”
Is this article just a recommendation devoid of legal value?
In the context of a national crisis of justice and a state of mobilization, the decisions that were considered to be essential were the obligation to wear the uniform by all police workers and changing the chief of the Gendarmerie. Changes in functions, contradictory statements, measures without substance, all show us a criminal indifference and complicity and the fact that the institution of the state that “exercising powers regarding the defense of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person” is no longer a functional institution. Moreover, it can no longer cope with the crime levels in Romania, either voluntarily, which turns it into an organized crime group, or by incapacity, but both blame you for the lack of concrete measures.
In 2018, 3,600 children disappeared from home and 3,190 were found. However, on the website of the Romanian Police, in the category “Missing children” only 17 names appear, two of them being of the two girls from Caracal, Luiza and Alexandra, whose cry for help managed to overcome the corruption in the Police Romanian and be heard.
The legislative proposal Child Alert, existing and blocked since 2011 at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, now in public debate, accompanied by utterly hallucinatory statements by the representatives of these two institutions and the change of the head of the Romanian Gendarmerie are just another proof of the criminal indifference. Endemic corruption reacts in pompous, worthless statements and concrete actions only following a tragedy.
We remind you that the problems related to the poor functioning of the national emergency line 112 are not new and after each major tragedy, the same promises were made, each time left without real results. We remind you of the plane crash in Apuseni mountains and the fire in the Collective club in Bucharest, but this are not the only times when the national emergency system has failed to fulfill its purpose, and there is also a conviction at the ECHR of Romania in this regard.
The European Commission has introduced the infringement procedure against Romania before the Caracal case following Romania’s failure to fulfill its obligations regarding Digital Single Market. In addition, the Commission decided to send formal notification letters to a number of Member States, such as Austria, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, which failed to transmit information about the operators of the essential services identified under the European network law and information on systems. (Directive (EU) 2016/1148).
In the Caracal investigation, although the Direction for Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism Offenses (DIICOT) presented the Olt County Police links with local interloping clans, nearly 60 policemen from the Olt County Police continue to be involved, thus compromising any credibility, if it still existed.
Mr. Minister, on August 2nd, you declared: “In parallel, another action of the Romanian Police started yesterday morning, we identify those who illegally transport people, we all know them and we see them on the outskirts of cities, so -the saying “take me, baby”, because we have to try to prevent situations that led to the Caracal disaster. I want to assure you that we will not stop until we can get a wheel system that will work properly and until we know what happened in Caracal and we will not identify the culprits for them to respond. Raed Arafat, with the group he coordinates, is ready to come up with measures. What the citizens of this country must know is that the costs will not stop us. No matter how much it costs, all these measures will be implemented, I do not think there is a price for the life of a citizen”, according to Mediafax.
In the context of these statements, how do you explain the delay in the implementation of the electronic monitoring system of the aggressors? The lack of this system continues to lead to the loss of human lives each year. Is there, at the level of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a list in which the lives of the citizens are valued, and the lives of women and girls in this country are in a lower place in this top? Can you explain how you understand “there is no price for a citizen’s life“?
Or does the lack of use of feminine declination explain the internal values system of the ministry you coordinate?
All of us, a whole country, have witnessed the incompetence of the intervention system in emergency situation to intervene, the carelessness and the incompetence of the policemen, those who are in our service, the citizens, not the local/national interloping clans, we have heard dozens, thousands of statements, all contradictory, apologizing and placing responsibility from one institution to another, but we have not seen transparency, common sense and clear measures that would show that you are assuming the disaster in which the security of the citizen is at this point.
Dear Mr Fifor, do you really want to attack the corruption in the system you are coordinating at this time, or do you want to continue to argue with the press on Facebook and make populist statements?
Look at how other states that have gone through major justice system crises have intervened. They directly attacked the corrupt police inspectorates and totally destroyed them.
- In the state of Georgia, 15.000 police officers have been dismissed; afterwards, only non-corrupt people were hired instead.
- In the state of Mexico, the entire police department in Acapulco was fired and, moreover, the chiefs were arrested. The army, along with the central forces, have taken over the responsibilities for a limited amount of time, until the situation came back to normal.
- In the state of Honduran, 1.700 police officers were also dismissed, including 6 out of 9 the police generals and 2/3 out of the officers who were under evaluation.
- In the state of Colombia, over 1.400 corrupted police officers have been dismissed.
- In the state of Ukraine, hundreds of police officers were fired, including 100% out of some regional structures.
It is this kind of images that reflect the beginning of a reform, rather than only replacing two chiefs.
Taking into account all of the above, along with a generalized insecurity and the fear of calling the national emergency line, we further request:
1. Olt county – the dismissal, without the right to any special pension or other benefits of the Chief Commissioner Nicolae Alexa, former Deputy of IPJ Olt and his prosecution for complicity and for the creation of an organized criminal group. We claim the same measures for all the police workers in IPJ Olt, Caracal Police and the police station in Dobrosloveni, which have delayed the cases of Luiza Melencu and Alexandra Măceșanu and, in addition to this, have made a mockery out of these disappearances.
2. Bacău county – the dismissal, without the right to any special pension or other benefits, of the police Superintendent Vasile Oprișan, chief of IPJ Bacău, given that:
- according to DIICOT, the secret club from Bacău, which is located right next to the headquarter of IPJ Bacău, has been functioning since 2015. ”The investigation aims at the activities of a group of businessmen from Bacău county who, since 2015, have started conducting a clandestine club in which they would frequently organize, almost on a daily basis, parties where there was a large amount of consumption of drugs or other substances with psychoactive effects, as well as the constant use of the services of some minor girls, who were practicing prostitution. The investigation has shown that among these people who were maintaining the club and organizing the parties, there were businessmen, people who were known as having criminal backgrounds and officials from a public institution”, reveals a press release from DIICOT.
- there were certain statements made about the victims of domestic violence by the police Superintendent Vasile Oprișan, chief of IPJ Bacău, on a local radio. In reference to this, we are still waiting for the results of an internal verification, since the beginning of April 2019.
3. Călărași county – a drastic restructuration of the police workers from IPJ Călărași and the consolidation of the Rule of Law through the transfer of some police officers from different other counties, which are unrelated to criminal groups.
- Călărași occupies the first position, nationally, for the number of persons who have been trafficked with the purpose of sexual exploitation and even though this is being said every single year, both by national and international institutions, no measures have been taken in order to stop human trafficking within this county.
4. The creation of a work group at the level of Ministry of Internal Affairs, in which should be included representatives of the non-governmental organisations specialized in the field of human trafficking, domestic and gender based violence, democracy and human rights, as well as representatives of the police unions in order to contribute to the decision making of legislative projects and of the situation of the national emergency system 112.
5. The expeditiously creation of some specialized police offices with regards to domestic and gender based violence, in every county police inspectorate within the country, offices who should be filled with police officers from the Public Order Services and Criminal Investigations Services.
6. The introduction of mandatory professional training sessions of the police officers on intervention procedures, hearing techniques and the phenomena of gender violence, as well as human trafficking. The course materials should be made with the implication of the civil society.
7. The dismissal of those police workers upon which can be proved that they have repeatedly discouraged the victims of the gender based violence crimes from filing complaints, as well as mocking them.
8. Taking into account that the number of the policemen who truly respect their oath and their job has significantly reduced, as well as avoiding to discourage this minority – the motivation of these policemen with wage hikes/some sort of prizes, as long as they swiftly fulfill their work attributions and resolve some special cases.
9. Changing the battery of psychological tests which are being used for the evaluation of the policemen, as well as the creation of some real counseling programs for them. Moreover, taking some concrete measures in the risk situations discovered which would help those people: for instance, their relocation on other positions that do not imply the same stress level.
10. The respect for the fundamental human rights, for the human dignity in the process of the criminal investigations, both regarding the victims and of the persons who are close to them.
11. Training the national emergency line 112 operators on how they can relate and communicate with the people who call in order to ask for help as well as ensuring psychologists/psychotherapists for every work shift, along with some specialized persons in negotiating techniques or hearing in order for them to be able to find out every necessary details that would eventually lead to saving human lives, without having the phone shut down anymore.
12. The introduction of specialized courses on domestic and gender based violence and on human trafficking as well in the Police Academy and the Schools of Agents in order to make sure that the professional forming of experts is continuous.
13. Making sure that there is institutional transparency and that the institutions takes responsibility for its actions, starting from the two Facebook pages that the institution you are coordinating, that of the Ministry of Internal Affairs which do not answers messages and that of the Romanian Police, which has the ”Send messages” function blocked. The communication of the citizens with these institutions ought to be unlimited, you cannot hide behind a logo with the hope that all your problems would simply vanish.
14. Naming the missing children alert system – Alexandra Alert, following the American alert system model, Amber (she was a 9 years old girl who went missing and was ultimately murdered, in 1996).
15. Changing the amount of time invested in the professional trainers of the police agents from the Schools of Agents up to two years, as well as the personnel from an external source. Moreover, it is important to create a real guardianship system which would represent more than just a signed piece of paper, in order to avoid further cases such as the one in Galați which we have witnessed lately, among many other similar ones. Also, we demand the avoidance of the re-employment personnel which is no longer active, with exception of the creation of a training system for students and workers who could benefit from the expertise and the time of these retired former officers.
16. The Romanian Police is an institution which should function non-stop because so does the criminality. The situations in the rural ares in which the working program is from 08:00 to 16:00 are unacceptable. The fact that there is a lack of personnel of almost 20.000 people does not justify the lack of involvement and the level of de-professionalization that the system has reached. You can temporarily ensure the decent functioning of this system through asking for the additional personnel on a determined period of time from the Gendarmerie or, why not, due to the lack of other solutions, from the Local Police.
Taking into account all of the above, we request that you organize a meeting with all the relevant factors, mentioned in the 4th point, in which you should discuss all the proposals received in this context by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In addition to this, we request that you elaborate a plan of concrete measures, with clear terms of implementation, that will be accessible to the public. All these measures that we have previously claimed are meant to contribute to the improvement of the system and to ensure the survival of the Rule of Law, as well as to maintaining the social contract between the citizens and the state.
Dear Mr. Fifor, take responsibility for the disaster that has occurred in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You are hiding from the press, making excuses, blaming previous governments, citizens who fail to understand the current situation, but what about your role in this current situation? If you are unable to do your job, you would better leave and thus allow other people to try to repair what is left to repair out of this system.
Alexandra Măceșanu has proven a tremendous courage and everything you do to honor her is to make a mockery out of this investigation.
In Romania, the death of the Rule of Law has occurred on Thursday, 25th of July, 11:05 o’clock.