Anger in Romania as people protest over the rape and murder of a teenage girl

Thousands of Romanians took to the streets of the capital Bucharest on Saturday to protest at the police handling of a case in which a 15-year-old girl was raped and murdered.

The victim called the European emergency number 112 three times for help on July 25th but it took police 19 hours to locate her.

The case has prompted the prime minister, Viorica Dancila, to consider increasing penalties for such crimes.

“I’m analysing the possibility of calling a referendum to ask Romanians if we should have drastically harsher penalties for murder, rape and paedophilia,” Dancila told reporters.

Anger at authorities

Protesters gathered outside the house of a 65-year-old man arrested over the murder. He’s suspected of having picked the victim up in his car as she was hitchhiking from a nearby village to Caracal in the south of the country.

But their anger is not just against the alleged perpetrator but also the police. One protester carried a banner saying “your carelessness kills”.

After receiving a search warrant, they reportedly waited for hours to enter the premises.

At the scene, they found what appeared to be human remains in a barrel as well as jewellery.

Police suspect the remains belong to the 15-year-old victim and to an 18-year-old girl from a nearby village who was reported missing in April. Forensic analysts were working to identify the remains.

Interior Minister, Nicolae Moga, said he has fired Police Chief Ioan Buda, Olt County Prefect Petre Neacsu, and Olt County Police Chief Cristian Voiculescu over this case.

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