The ordinances the Romanian Justice minister elaborated break the freedom of expression and Romanian media organizations have strongly protested against them. The Reporteres sans Frontiers and the SEEMO have also been informed about it.
Support from the IFJ
The IFJ is supporting Romanian mass media protests against the Romanian ministers' inappropriate comments, which break the rights of one well-known Romanian journalist and throw doubt on the right to express critique belonging to the newspaper the respective journalist heads.
Because of the Romanian Justice minister's comments, journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu wrote a criminal complaint, accusing the Justice minister of abuse. It is a response to the minister's public comments, claiming that neither Rosca Stanescu nor the newspaper he was head of had the right to criticize the Ministry of Justice, since the journalist was charged with use of confidential information.
Aidan White, a general secretary of the IFJ, mentions that when a journalist is charged in a case the presumption of innocence must be respected. White has announced that the IFJ and its branch, the European Federation of Journalists, are standing by the MediaSind Union (affiliated to the IFJ). The latter union in Romanian described the situation as Justice officials' abuse against journalists.
Macovei should keep silent
White claims the Justice minister should keep silent for the sake of Justice, as he argues that to make use of this case in order to avoid the press's legitimate right to make investigations serves neither Justice nor press freedom.
The Romanian minister opened the controversy by making public comments and mentioning that the ongoing case against the ZIUA director and also by insinuating that the latter and the journalists his newspaper employed should weaken pressure on the Ministry of Justice because of Rosca Stanescu's "trouble with Justice".
There are several analysts displeased with such attitude and they believe the minister made comments on the respective journalist's guilt before a verdict has been reached, which can be taken as pressure on judges handling the case, assigned by the Ministry of Justice. The ZIUA director wrote petitions to both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in the Romanian Parliament, asking them for action.