Every year the Szekler National Council organizes the Day of the Szekler Freedom in order to demonstrate against the planned administrative reform of Romania, which would be extremely detrimental for the Szekler community as Szeklerland would be incorporated into a region in which Hungarians constituted less than 30% of the total population. A major challenge of organizing this event year by year, is that Romanian authorities are not always cooperative, and often use various means to put obstacles in front of the organizers, including unlawful ones. The Day of the Szekler Freedom consisted of two parts: 1) A demonstration held at an obelisk commemorating the martyrdom of Szekler’s who fought for Hungarian freedom under Habsburg oppression, and 2) a march from the obelisk to the building of the local government of Maros County.
Last year the authorities refused to permit a road block, that would have been necessary for such a march, given the large number of protesters (usually around 30 000 people participated on this event). That decision caused a gravely accident-prone traffic situation, and prompted excessive action by the security forces against the demonstrators who had to go down to the road from the sidewalk, which was way too narrow too pass for such a large crowd.
This year the authorities went even further and banned the whole march on the 30th of January (just one day after its announcement), accusing the organizers with trying to create ethnic unrest within the country. After the corresponding advisory committee – consisting, among others of the mayor of Marosvásárhely/Targu Mures and the local police chief – reached this decision, the President of the Szekler National Council, Izsák Balázs was summoned on the 9th of February to give his subsequent approval for this decision. Lawfully, the authorities are only allowed to make modifications regarding any announced event, with the consent of the organizers, but here the officials did not consult the organizers, but simply expected an approval of a decision already made by them. The organizers turned to the Court for legal remedy against this procedure. Unfortunately, however, the Court appears to be an accomplice to the unlawful political conduct of the advisory committee, and delays to conclude a ruling on this matter in due time. The authorities of the State are thus collaborating in the infringement of fundamental rights in order to silence the protesters that are against the planned administrative reform. Until the Court reaches a decision it is not possible to secure neither the personal safety of the demonstrators, nor the purity and dignity of the Szekler autonomy movement. Consequently, the Szekler National Council is forced not to organize the Day of the Szekler Freedom this year. We will, however, make the necessary steps to have a safe, lawful and multiple times bigger demonstration in upcoming years.