1. The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Romania (CCPR/C/95/Add.7) at its 1766th, 1767th and 1768th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1766-1768), on 20 and 21 July 1999, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 1777th meeting (CCPR/C/SR.1777) held on 27 July 1999.
2. The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts to respond in a comprehensive manner to the issues raised by the Committee on the basis of its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/95/Add.7). It also appreciates the presence of a substantial delegation from Bucharest, and the detailed information provided in response to questions by members of the Committee.
3. The Committee commends the State party for progress made in bringing the Romanian legal order into harmony with its obligations under the Covenant, and for the establishment of institutions which contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights, e.g. the People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) and the Department for the Protection of National Minorities. It especially welcomes the establishment, within that Department, of a National Office for Roma, to initiate, support and coordinate actions to improve respect for the rights of the Roma.
4. The Committee notes with satisfaction changes that have been made to improve the administration of justice and to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, in particular the irremovability of judges. The Committee also notes that during recent years the Romanian courts have made frequent reference to international legal provisions, in particular those of the Covenant.
5. A matter of grave concern to the Committee is the situation of street children and abandoned children, an exceedingly serious problem which remains unresolved in Romania (art. 24).
6. The Committee expresses its concern about continuing discrimination against the Roma (arts. 26 and 27).
7. While the Committee appreciates steps taken by the State party to promote gender equality, it remains concerned about discrimination against women, particularly the lack of women in decision-making positions and in politics (arts. 3 and 26).
8. The Committee also expresses its serious concern about domestic violence against women, a problem which cannot be resolved exclusively by penal sanctions (arts. 3, 7 and 9).
9. The Committee is concerned at the lack of a clear legal framework, defining and limiting the role of the security forces and providing for effective civilian control over them.
11. The Committee is concerned at the extent of pre-trial detention; the broad prerogatives of the Public Ministry to allow the withdrawal of procedural safeguards in situations of deprivation of liberty; and the possibility of extending the 30-day period of detention without suitable limits or judicial control (art. 9).
12. The Committee is disturbed at continued incidents involving the use of firearms by the police, especially in cases of petty offences committed by minors (arts. 6, 7 and 9).
13. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of legislation invalidating statements of accused persons obtained in violation of article 7 of the Covenant.
14. The Committee is concerned about the conditions in prisons, including continued overcrowding (art. 10).
15. The Committee is concerned that freedom of expression and of the press are unduly limited by article 31 (4) of the Romanian Constitution and by the application of the law on defamation (art. 19).
16. The Committee is concerned about restrictions on the right to privacy, in particular in regard to homosexual relations between consenting adults, which are penalized by article 200, paragraph 1, of the Penal Code (art. 17).
18. The Committee sets the date for the submission of Romania’s fifth periodic report as ... It urges the State party to make available to the public the text of the State party’s fourth periodic report and these concluding observations. It requests that the next periodic report be widely disseminated among the public, including non-governmental organizations operating in Romania.