Tens of thousands of people were protesting in Bucharest and many cities across Romania on Sunday evening against government plans to force through a series of measures critics say are aimed at helping top politicians and business people who are targeted by the fight against corruption.

ProtestFoto: Hotnews

Some 22,000-25,000 protested in downtown Bucharest, another 10,000 in the city of Cluj, with thousands or hundreds protesting in many other cities including Sibiu, Timisoara, Ploiesti, Galati, Constanta.

The government has been planning to change a series of laws, especially those regarding the amnesty and pardon of certain categories of sentenced or indicted persons, but also bring changes to the criminal law.

These changes were defended as moves to alleviate overcrowding in Romanian prisons, which has been an issue Romania was criticized for by the ECHR.

But protesters say the measures in fact help many top officials - including the leader of the biggest party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea; Senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu; top politicians who have already been sentenced to prison or risk prison sentences in corruption cases - to get rid of their criminal issues.

This is the second wave of massive Sunday protests after the plans came to light earlier this month.