LAYMS (Anti-Defamation League for Yoga and Spiritual Movements) notified the Romanian authorities and the European Parliament that the insertion of Gregorian Bivolaru, a Romanian refugee living in Sweden, on the www.eumostwanted.eu portal breaks the national and European legislation.
On January 29, 2016, the Romanian Police announced, using Agerpres news agency, that the law enforcement authorities in Europe, through European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST) and Europol, launched the www.eumostwanted.eu website, helping to find and catch the most wanted international transgressors.
Romania appears on this portal with two fugitives: Gregorian Bivolaru, on whose name there is a six years imprisonment warrant for sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and Robert Gîrleanu, Romanian and Moldavian citizen, wanted for first degree murder, having to carry out a life sentence.
LAYMS asked Europol to help us clarify, in a transparent manner, the criteria on which Gregorian Bivolaru was included on Europol’s “most wanted” list.
LAYMS requested this clarification for the following reasons:
• LAYMS noticed an inconsistency between the offence for which Gregorian Bivolaru was convicted by the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice, and Europol’s Competence within the international cooperation, namely the list of the crimes that fall under Europol competence, established by the Council Decision of 6 April 2009 (2009/371/JHA) (Chapter 1, Article 4 and its Annex), integrated into the Romanian legislation, Law 55/2012 (Article 1, (2), g.) – the crime of sexual intercourse with a minor is beyond the competence of Europol and does not affect two or more Member States in such a way as to require a common approach by Member States owing to the scale, significance and consequences of the offences;
• LAYMS noticed that on this website the offence attributed to Gregorian Bivolaru was changed versus the Decision 2107/14 of June 2013 of the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice. Thus, next to Gregorian Bivolaru’s name it is stated “sexual exploitation of children and child pornography”, and not “sexual intercourse with a minor”, as shown on the website of Romanian Police.
Since the Europol website specifies that “the website’s content is managed and published by national ENFAST teams in EU Member States, whose administrators upload their countries’ most wanted fugitives, and will directly receive any leads about them”, we asked Europol to request the Romanian authorities to document the association of Gregorian Bivolaru with this new offence on a EU public website, especially given that he was formally acquitted by the Supreme Court of Romania for alleged crimes such as trafficking of children, sexual corruption etc;
• By checking the list of the most wanted criminals on the official website of the Romanian Police, one can notice that out of 42 people listed, at least 15 got much more serious convictions than Gregorian Bivolaru, for crimes that fall into Europol’s competence, such as for example “aggravated murder” (sentenced to 21.6 years), “weapons and ammunition related offenses” (sentenced to 18 years), “fraud and forgery” (sentenced to 17 years), “high-risk drug trafficking” (sentenced to 15 years) etc.
In this context, the choice of the Romanian Police to present Gregorian Bivolaru as one of the two most dangerous criminals in Romania can be seen as discriminatory.
LAYMS asked Europol to help us clarify with the partner Romanian authorities which were the criteria used by the Romanian ENFAST Team for choosing the two most dangerous criminals to be included on Europol’s website, in the spirit of observing the EU and Romanian legislation on human rights, the non-discriminatory selection procedure, the protection of personal data, and the observance of European and Romanian legislation on cooperation with Europol.
• Gregorian Bivolaru was granted a refugee status by Swedish authorities in 2006, he owns a Swedish passport and has a permanent residence in Sweden, known to the Romanian authorities, therefore he is not a fugitive.
• Gregorian Bivolaru’s presence on the Europol portal has resulted in an extensive national and international media coverage, which has caused serious damage to his image and exposed him to possible physical and mental persecution. The main official news channels in Romania announced on 29 January 2016 that Gregorian Bivolaru is listed amongst the top 45 most wanted criminals in the EU, alongside with notorious terrorists and criminals.
The news was taken up by the international media, which is why LAYMS took action in the case of Gregorian Bivolaru and wishes to ensure that the selection procedure was not discriminatory, and does not violate the rights guaranteed by the law.
Between 1992-2006 there was an extensive anti-MISA and anti-Gregorian Bivolaru media campaign in Romania, which led to mass discrimination and defamation of this spiritual community, phenomenon that LAYMS alongside other NGOs’ has reported to national and European authorities, and which led to Gregorian Bivolaru being granted the refugee status in Sweden in 2006.
To prevent a possible new discriminatory action, that would indirectly instigate the public opinion and European authorities against Gregorian Bivolaru, LAYMS kindly asks Europol to provide us with support in ensuring human rights observance and in rectifying the mistakes committed by the Romanian police in this case.