Critics of plan said to be aimed at easing overcrowding claim it would help government allies convicted of corruption.
Thousands of people have marched through the Romanian capital and other cities to protest against a government proposal to pardon thousands of prisoners, which critics say could reverse the anti-corruption fight.
More than 10,000 protesters gathered on Sunday in University Square in Bucharest, and later broke through police lines, before heading toward government headquarters. Thousands also protested in the western city of Cluj and in Iași in the north.
Elderly people were among the protesters, with others carrying carried children on their shoulders or holding them in their arms. Demonstrators called the ruling Social Democratic party “the red plague”.
In Bucharest, protesters shouted: “We want democracy, with thieves in prison.” They cheered after the president, Klaus Iohannis, a government critic who supports the anti-corruption drive, turned up at the protest.