HotNews.ro journalist Robert Mihailescu was kicked and punched by gendarmes during violent incidents on the margins on a major anti-government protest in Bucharest on Friday. He was attacked after the riot police launched an intervention against protesters, when people on social media said - with video proof - that peaceful demonstrators were hit by police forces without justification.
Journalist Robert Mihailescu was live broadcasting on Facebook an intervention of the riot police on Victoriei Avenue, close to Victoriei Square where most of the protest took place. By the end of the broadcast, gendarme troops launch a raid and retain three youths outside a store in the area. The three did not have a hostile behaviour.
A man dressed in civilian clothes who was shouting orders at gendarmes came out from among them and dragged the journalist back to the riot police.
"I was LIVE broadcasting the riot police intervention. The man in white clothes took me by the hand and grabbed my phone. I yelled I am a journalist and lifted my hands above my head, my press card lifted in the air. The man dragged me to the center of the riot police group and told them: take this one, too. One of the gendarmes punched me and pushed me to the back of the riot police line while a second kicked me in the back. I asked to give my phone back, telling them again that I was a journalist. A gendarme called me names and kicked me with his foot. Meanwhile, another gendarme was smashing my phone on the ground", Robert Mihailescu said.
The saved video recording shows images up to when the cell phone was grabbed from the journalist's hands.
The journalist submitted a complaint with the Bucharest District 1 Police.