Riot police use a water canon during a charge to clear the square during protests outside the government headquarters, in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Romanians who live abroad are staging an anti-government protest calling on the left-wing government to resign and an early election.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Israel protests to Romania after tourists beaten by police

August 13, 2018 - 1:05 pm

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Israel's embassy on Monday protested to the Romanian government after four Israeli tourists were allegedly dragged out of a taxi and beaten by riot police in Bucharest during a violent anti-corruption protest.

The embassy described the Friday night attack as "unacceptable and extremely serious."

It said the tourists were returning to their hotel in the Romanian capital of Bucharest when police stopped them.

"They were dragged out of the car, even though they showed their passports and explained they had nothing" to do with the protest, the embassy said, adding that the men would file a criminal complaint.

Police in Bucharest did not immediately react to the statement.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, however, said that "the brutal repression of demonstrators is totally unacceptable."

"In a European state, attacking innocent people, attacking journalists, attacking women and children is inconceivable," he said Monday, calling for a thorough investigation into police brutality during the anti-government protest.

Some 500 people needed medical treatment after police fired tear gas and water cannons to break up the protest against government corruption. Some people lobbed rocks and bottles at police.

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