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Brutal scenes from Romanian fracking protests

US energy giant Chevron has resumed its search for shale gas in north-eastern Romania after hundreds of riot police removed villagers who had been camping out at the site protesting the company’s plan.

Romanian activists have launched a petition campaign on the web calling to “Stop Chevron and police abuse in Pungesti”.

Once 20,000 signatures are collected, the document will be sent to the European Parliament, the European Commission, and human rights organizations.

“This abusive intervention is without precedent in a democratic Romania and it follows two months of continuous harassment and intimidation of the local community. It is an irresponsible, dangerous attack on human and civil rights, as recognized worldwide,” it reads.

In October 2013, Chevron suspended its drilling of an exploration well for shale gas in the village of Pungesti, believed to be on reserves of methane "natural gas".

Pungesti villagers set up a camp in a privately-owned field next to the Chevron gas well site.

Romanian riot police, gendarmes and firemen broke up the protest early in the morning. Police and Chevron vehicles blocked the road linking the village with the city of Vaslui, and surrounded the protesters camp.

The European Parliament legislation that subjects companies planning to use hydraulic fracturing to in-depth environmental audits. In France and Bulgaria, the method is banned.

 

 

 

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