A notoriously xenophobic Romanian extremist group called “Calea Neamului” has invaded and desecrated a military cemetery in Hargita county, again, by illegally putting up crosses on the graves of first world war fallen soldiers This particular group has previously caused a violent incident, when aided by the local authorities of Dărmănești, when they have erected 50 crosses, an action that was deemed illegal by a Romanian court and the demolition of the crosses was ordered by it. We’d like to mention that the events during the two world wars that took part in the valley, where the cemetery is, are fully documented, and the identity of the soldiers buried in the cemetery is well known, as these records were kept in military archives. The claims of the extremist group that Romanian soldiers are buried in the cemetery has been proven wrong by military historians, and this fact was accepted by Romanian authorities also.

After more than three years long legal battles, the court irrevocably decided that the crosses were put up illegally and thus the local authorities of Dărmănești were ordered to demolish it. The mayor of Dărmănești enforced this, and the crosses were taken off and away from the cemetery. However the extremist group “Calea Neamului” has decided that this particular order of the court was null and void as far as they are concerned and decided to put up further crosses, this time not 50, but a 150 wooden crosses.

They have announced this intention online, on various social media platforms. They had no permit for their event, they had no permit for putting up the crosses, therefore they entered the cemetery illegally and they have desecrated the cemetery by putting up the 150 crosses again. The local authorities of Harghita council and Sânmartin have alerted the police about the upcoming action. However, even though the police was present at the cemetery during the whole time, they did nothing to prevent the illegality, they simply stood by and when asked about the journalists about their intentions, they avoided an upfront answer, not preferring to address the issue in any way.

The Hungarian community in Romania is highly alarmed and worried about the fact that there are extremist groups in Romania that disregard the law to such an extent, but also about the fact that the Romanian police and generally the authorities did absolutely nothing to prevent this very alarming action to took place, but they tacitly stood by and watched the events unfold. The 50 crosses were taken off legally, as a result of a long legal process, it took three different lawsuits to have the crosses demolished. Therefore putting up the crosses again is a clear sign to the Hungarian community that the rule of law in Romania means nothing, it cannot be enforced, laws can be easily broken, with the tacit participation of the police, who did not prevent the action of the extremist group, in spite of the fact that they were fully aware of their intentions.

The President of Hargita county, Csaba Borboly declared in relation to these events that it was “clearly an infringement of the law, according to the Romanian Penal Code.” He also declared that the images were astounding, and that the members of the extremist group literally drilled into the graves of the fallen soldiers, without any respect for these.

It is absolutely unacceptable for such occurrences to happen, besides the full absurdity of the fact the actions, it is highly worrisome that an extremist group can act in such a threatening way, that it is possible in Romania in 2023, for people to have such contempt and disregard for the legal order, and also it is absolutely frightening for the Hungarian community to have to witness such blatant extremism from far-right groups, but also for the organs of the Romanian state to sit by and tacitly watch this process of desecration and vandalism.