Alexandru Postica: Paying for a protest does not make it illegal

The act of funding a protest in principle is not a reason for making a determination on its legality, because the law does not prohibit “incentivizing” participants, says the jurist Alexandru Postica, an expert within the Promo-LEX human rights organization, in reference to the anti-government protests organized by the Shor Party.

“From the published journalistic investigations, which contain indisputable evidence, (one can learn that) some people were paid to attend this rally. But even this does not make it illegal. At any rate, according to the law, it is not forbidden to (financially) incentivize someone. Of course, you have to declare these expenses. But this is another matter and a later stage”, said Alexandru Postica during an IPN debate.

The expert says he understands the frustration of those who claim that the protests are financed illegally, but asks them to admit that there are also protesters who are “willingly” there. “So, we shouldn’t generalize and lump everyone into one group”.

But, apart from rights, there are also obligations, recalls the jurist, referring to reports of public order violations among the protesters. “The organizers can form a committee to make sure a rally is conducted properly. Let’s not forget that it is the organizer’s (obligation) to ensure that the protest is peaceful and that the rigors of the law are respected”. However, according to Alexandru Postica, in the case of large-scale protests, it is “impossible” to guarantee that each and every participant behaves well. “At the same time, one should not rule out the intention of the organizers to provoke (...) and portray themselves as a victim in relation to the government,” admits the expert.
This is where the task of the police and local authorities comes in to manage the situation. “If an offense is committed by one or more participants, they must be removed, which is explicitly stipulated by the law”, says Alexandru Postica. According to him, the law already contains the necessary instruments to ensure public order, without the need for them to be “doubled” by the Commission for Exceptional Situations.

Also, the Promo-LEX expert believes that an exceptional situation that has already lasted for the seventh month cannot justify the prohibition of an assembly, as long as it remains peaceful and meets certain key requirements.

The debate was the 264th installment of the “Political Culture” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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