Rapid Response

Romania: In an open letter, RSF and ActiveWatch denounce judicial pressures on investigative journalists following a complaint from a Bucharest district mayor

Based on a criminal complaint filed without any evidence, Romanian prosecutors have started to interrogate journalists who reported on irregularities related to public procurement. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its Romanian partner organisation warn against a dangerous precedent with a possible chilling effect on journalists and demand an internal investigation on the prosecutors’ treatment of the complaint.

read the article »Published: Thursday, 27 May 2021 · comments

From blueprint to footprint: Safeguarding media freedom and pluralism through the European Rule of Law Mechanism Joint civil society organisation recommendations

The launch of the European Rule of Law Mechanism in July 2019 marks the renewed 1 opportunity for
the European Union (EU) to uphold democracy and overcome the limits of the Article 7 procedure.
Among the proposed actions, the announcement by the European Commission Vice President for
Values and Transparency Věra Jourová of a dedicated chapter to media freedom and pluralism in
the Annual Rule of Law Report was strongly welcomed by press freedom and journalists’
organisations. It is not only the acknowledgment that independent journalism and access to pluralistic
information are one of the pillars of democracy, but also a key step in addressing the worrying state
of media freedom and pluralism in the EU.

read the article »Published: Friday, 17 April 2020 · comments · FreeEx

Reporters Without Borders and ActiveWatch condemn the aggression of PSD Cluj president against journalists

Reporters without Borders and ActiveWatch support the Cluj Press Professionals Association who requested the PSD president, Viorica Dăncilă, through an open letter, to intervene in order to restore a decent communication between the PSD Cluj and the representatives of the press.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 9 October 2019 · comments · FreeEx

Romania urged to protect all journalists with same speed as in Sercan case

In a joint letter released today, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its Romanian partner, Active Watch, praise the speed with which the Romanian authorities dealt  with the threatening text received by investigative journalist Emilia Sercan on 15 April, but urge them to act with similar speed in all other serious threats or abuses against journalists, in order to combat impunity and a climate of violence against the media. 

read the article »Published: Friday, 10 May 2019 · comments · FreeEx

Update - Suspect identified / Death treaths to a journalist / - Letter of Reporters without Borders and ActiveWatch

Journalist Emilia Șercan has received death threats on Monday evening, April 15th. Today Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and ActiveWatch wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs and to the Chief Inspector of the Romanian Police General Inspectorate asking them to take all appropriate measures in order to protect Emilia Șercan, to make sure that the police investigation on whom has written the threatening messages will be an effective one, and to condemn publicly these messages. Update April 24 - suspect identified by the Police.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 17 April 2019 · comments · FreeEx

Freedom of speech must be understood correctly within the framework of personal data protection

Several non-governmental organizations have written today to the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing, reminding that not only private life is a fundamental right, but also freedom of expression, that the protection of sources for journalists is crucial to guaranteeing the right to liberty of speech and that threats should not be part of an address from a public authority. The organizations request for the adoption of procedures agreed in public debates, with the press and bodies with expertise.

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 13 November 2018 · comments · FreeEx, Good Governance, Rapid Response

Censorship and intimidation at the Romanian Public Television We request for the immediate dismissal of Doina Gradea, President – General Manager. UPDATE: RSF supports the appeal

A group of organizations have made today an appeal to the Parliament requesting that the President-General Manager of the Romanian Public Television should be dismissed.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 24 October 2018 · comments · FreeEx, Good Governance, Rapid Response

Update// Appeal to establish a public inquiry into the assassination of Ms. Daphne Caruana Galizia/// Alert: assasination of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova

One year after the assassination of Maltese journalist Ms Daphne Caruana Galizia, a group of 25 media freedom organizations asks for an independent inquiry into whether the Maltese state is responsible for the circumstances that led to this crime.

Two days before the publishing of this letter, on the 6th of October 2018, another journalist was brutally murdered, this time in Bulgaria: Viktoria Marinova, 30 years old, of the TVN television in Ruse. An appeal of Reporters without Borders can be read here.

read the article »Published: Monday, 8 October 2018 · comments · FreeEx

Current Romanian leaders adhere to European values only when in Brussels

Taking into account the recent disinformation campaign carried out by the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă during her visit at Brussels this week, we would like to bring to your attention some of the actions of the current Romanian Government coalition that are in direct conflict with the Prime Minister’s declarations.

read the article »Published: Friday, 28 September 2018 · comments · FreeEx, Good Governance

Attacking journalists is habit of Camorra, incompatible with a law enforcement institution of an EU member state

ActiveWatch, member of Reporters sans Frontiers, considers inacceptable that Gendarmerie forces have violently attacked or prevented journalists from documenting the protest that has taken place in Bucharest on August 10th, 2018. The large number of journalists that have been attacked by the Gendarmerie raises suspicions that the institution might have explicitly tried to prevent the citizens from being informed on the way it has acted towards the protesters.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 15 August 2018 · comments · FreeEx

Update/ Senators, vote AGAINST the amendments to the Agerpres law!

Reporters without Borders, European Center for Press and Media Freedom, ActiveWatch, Romanian Trade Union of Journalists - MediaSind, Center for Independent Journalism and Convention of the Media Organizations urge the Romanian Senate not to adopte today dangerous ammendments to the National Press Agency Agerpres Law.

read the article »Published: Monday, 30 October 2017 · comments · FreeEx

Net Neutrality: 73 NGOs from around the world send letter to EU regulators

Today, ActiveWatch joined forces with EDRi and 71 other civil society organisations from the five continents of the world to ask European Telecom Regulators to uphold net neutrality in the current negotiations about the future of the Open Internet in the European Union.

read the article »Published: Monday, 2 May 2016 · comments · FreeEx, Good Governance, Rapid Response

500 signatories, including Nobel prize winners ask UK and Sweden to cease on the arbitrarily detention of Julian Assange

Before the 31st United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva today, 500 human rights organizations, law professors, former UN office holders, and high-profile rights defenders including four Nobel Peace Prize winners have urged the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom to respect the United Nations’ decision to free Julian Assange. The statement was delivered to the Swedish and UK Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in Geneva. ActiveWatch has joined the list of signatories.

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 1 March 2016 · comments · FreeEx

25 international organizations call calls for investigation into surveillance of Romanian journalist Cătălin Tolontan

We call for an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation of this incident to discourage similar incidents in the future, and believe it would constitute an important step towards demonstrating that the call for accountability from the Romanian people is being heard.

read the article »Published: Monday, 14 December 2015 · comments · FreeEx

Letter to Channel 4 on "Romanians are Coming"

Open letter to Ms Katie Buchanan, Producer of “The Romanians are coming”

Dear Ms. Katie Buchanan,

The undersigned Romanian organizations below would like thank you for the production "The Romanians are Coming" - the two episodes of which have been broadcast on Channel 4.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 4 March 2015 · comments · FreeEx, Antidiscrimination, Rapid Response

Reporters without Borders has launched the World Press Freedom Index 2015

Reporters Without Borders has published the World Press Freedom Index 2015. Romania ranks 52, with a score very close to the United States of America, and above other EU member states (Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria). Comparing to the previos ranking, Romania is 7 seats down, and the recorded score is slightly smaller. 

read the article »Published: Thursday, 12 February 2015 · comments · FreeEx

Two months preventive detention ordered for Azerbaijani journalist

Two months preventive detention ordered for Azerbaijani journalist

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 10 December 2014 · comments · FreeEx

ActiveWatch: We demand the prosecution of police violence against a journalist in the tourist hub of Bucharest

To: Ministry of Interior and the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police
The attention of the Minister Gabriel Oprea and Mr Petre Toba, General Inspector of Romanian Police

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 12 November 2014 · comments · FreeEx

How many unconstitutionality rulings do you need in order to respect our privacy?

These days Romania is going through an absurd competition between the state – that keeps imposing laws designed to give it complete control over the citizens' communications – and the justice system, that can't stop ruling these laws unconstitutional.

read the article »Published: Thursday, 10 July 2014 · comments · FreeEx

It's Time to End the Justice Dept's Criminal Investigation Into WikiLeaks

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530
June 19, 2014
Dear Attorney General Holder,

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 24 June 2014 · comments · FreeEx

Stop surveillance activities in Romania!

Please read and if you agree, sign this petition to stop surveillance activities in Romania

read the article »Published: Thursday, 12 June 2014 · comments · FreeEx,

Freedom of expression under attack: insult and libel reincriminate

16 December 2013

H. E. Victor Ponta
Prime Minister of Romania
Guvernul României
Piata Victoriei nr. 1, sector 1
Bucuresti, Romania
Fax +40213191588, +4021 3139846
Email: [email protected]

CC: Valeriu Zgonea, Head of the Chamber of Deputies
Str. Izvor nr.2-4, Camera 4123, Sect.5, Bucuresti
Tel/Fax: +40 214 14 19 89
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Crin Antonescu, Head of the Senate
Calea 13 Septembrie nr. 1-3, sector 5, Bucuresti, 050711
Fax: +4021 315 89 42, +4021 315 89 43, +4021 315 60 03
E-mail: [email protected]

Your Excellency,

We the undersigned 35 organisations, members and partners of IFEX, express our deep concern that the Romanian Parliament voted to recriminalise insult and libel as part of a wider amendment of the Penal Code, thus undoing the progress made by Romania during the last eight years to legally protect the right to freedom of expression. Criminalisation of insult and libel is a serious attack on this right, as it works to intimidate voices who criticise the structures of power in society and expose corruption, abuse and other wrongdoings.

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 · comments · FreeEx

Freedom of Speech Under Attack in Romania

The signatory organizations condemn the anti-democratic practices adopted and exercised by the current parliamentary majority and publicly ask the Romanian President not to promulgate the law through which, surreptitiously, the offenses of libel and insult were reintroduced in the Criminal Code.
In 2006, the Parliament decided to repeal the offenses of insult and libel. In 2007, the Constitutional Court ruled that the offenses of libel and insult are not repealed, then, in 2010, the High Court of Cassation and Justice has ruled that the offenses of insult and libel are abolished, and in 2013 the Constitutional Court ruled again that the offenses of libel and insult are not repealed.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 · comments · FreeEx

ActiveWatch and Reporters without Borders protest against the amendments brought by the Romanian Government to the Insolvency Law

ActiveWatch and Reporters Without Borders condemn the Romanian Government's decision to adopt in a total lack of transparency a bill whose provisions threaten press freedom and the public's right to information. By supporting this legislation, the Government opened a new chapter in the history of political and economic control of the media institutions in Romania.

read the article »Published: Friday, 4 October 2013 · comments · FreeEx

150 human rights, digital rights and media rights NGOs call on Obama to end prosecution of Snowden

More than 150 civil society organisations defending human rights, digital rights and media rights in countries as far afield as the UK to Uruguay, from the USA to Ukraine to Uganda, have written to President Obama to urge him to end the prosecution of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers like him.

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 6 August 2013 · comments · FreeEx

FC Steaua behaviour towards journalists

Att: The Media Committee
Subject: FC Steaua behaviour towards journalists


ActiveWatch, a Romanian human rights NGO concerned with freedom of expression and press freedom, expresses its outrage towards the unacceptable behaviour of Steaua Football Club officials against journalists and media outlets.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 24 July 2013 · comments · FreeEx

FC Steaua behaviour towards journalists

Att: The Media Committee
Subject: FC Steaua behaviour towards journalists

ActiveWatch, a Romanian human rights NGO concerned with freedom of expression and press freedom, expresses its outrage towards the unacceptable behaviour of Steaua Football Club officials against journalists and media outlets.

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 23 July 2013 · comments · FreeEx

Greek Government worse than Romanian dictator Ceausescu

Foto: DEMOTIXActiveWatch invites journalists to make a common cause by asking the Greek Government to reconsider its decision to close down the broadcasting of public radio and TV channels in Greece.

The broadcasting of public radio and TV channels in Greece was shut down on Tuesday night. All employees of the media public institutions were laid off. This decision was taken on the basis of a rushed legislative act, which was voted and enforced in 24 hours. The Government’s spokesperson justified this decision by accusing the public television of wasting public money: “ERT (the Greek state television) is a characteristic case of lack of transparency and incredible waste. This (situation) ends now” (Simos Kedikoglou, cited by Associated Press).

Foto credit: Demotix

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 12 June 2013 · comments · FreeEx

Bucharest: Solidarity with protesters in Turkey

Today, June 6, 2013, citizens of Romania have shown their solidarity with Turkey’s protesters. Bearing in mind the recent events from many cities in Turkey, we arein front of the Turkish Embassy to give our message of solidarity with the citizens that are now defending their freedom of expression right as a reaction to the Government lack of consideration for this value. 

read the article »Published: Thursday, 6 June 2013 · comments · FreeEx, Good Governance, , Rapid Response

The Freedom of Expression Abusively Repressed by the Management of a High School in Covasna district

ActiveWatch, a human rights organization that fights for free communication in the public interest, condemns the abusive behaviour of Korosi Csoma Sandor High School’s class master and management, who have prevented a student from wearing a fashion accessory that had the colours of the Romanian flag. Even if the gesture of the student and of her schoolmates can be construed as provocative to the Hungarian colleagues (in the context it occurred), it falls under the limits of the freedom of expression, as there are no serious grounds to justify its sanctioning. If the student acted in a way that has lead to reactions from colleagues, this could have been sanctioned according to the school regulation, but not by confiscating or forbidding the headband.

ActiveWatch is asking the journalists to act responsibly and no longer publish the picture of the student, because she is a minor, but also because they risk exposing her to unpleasant situations taking into consideration that the student already received death threats. We also ask the journalists and politicians to prove maximum responsibility in the way they publicly speak about this topic and not to amplify the tension by exploiting nationalist topics. We would like to remind everybody that, in this context, children are victims of the nationalist discourse uttered by several politicians and supported by the media in the recent years.

read the article »Published: Friday, 22 March 2013 · comments · FreeEx, Antidiscrimination, Rapid Response

Press realease rearding the MCV Report: Freedom of speech in Romania doesn't need new laws, but protection

The signatory organizations express their bewilderment and concern regarding the findings and recommendations referring to mass-media included in the CVM.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 30 January 2013 · comments · FreeEx

ActiveWatch proposed European Parliament to ban the infiltration of newsrooms by intelligence officers

To: The members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Ref: the „EU Charter: Standard settings for media freedom across the EU” Report


read the article »Published: Tuesday, 6 November 2012 · comments · FreeEx

Protest: Libertatea de exprimare evacuată de pe National Arena - UPDATE 2


read the article »Published: Thursday, 22 March 2012 · comments · FreeEx

Protest: Libertatea de exprimare evacuată de pe National Arena - UPDATE 1


read the article »Published: Friday, 2 March 2012 · comments · FreeEx

Protest: Free speech evacuated from The National Arena


read the article »Published: Thursday, 1 March 2012 · comments · FreeEx

Violence against Journalists During Street Protests in Romania. Police Abuse Against Citizens

ActiveWatch – Media Monitoring Agency and Reporters without Borders condemn the violence perpetrated against journalists by both police and protesters. The two organizations also condemn basic human rights violations by the riot police, such as the right to free speech, the right to freedom of movement and the right to freedom of assembly

read the article »Published: Tuesday, 17 January 2012 · comments · FreeEx

Adevarul de Seara Focsani nu-si gaseste ziarele in chioscurile Monitorului de Vrancea

Jurnaliștii de la săptămânalul Adevărul de Seară Focșani acuză firma de distribuție Trinec Serv (a Monitorului de Vrancea), deținută de Corina Trifan, că obstrucționează apariția publicației. Potrivit acestora, motivul ar fi legat de publicarea unui articol defavorabil la adresa firmei Mavi Beton SRL, la care Corina Trifan este acționar alături de soțul său.

read the article »Published: Thursday, 7 July 2011 · comments · FreeEx

Inevitabila lege a presei

Saptamana trecuta (11 mai) ONG-urile au fost invitate la Comisia de Mass-Media din Camera Deputatilor pentru a discuta despre oportunitatea unei legi a presei.

read the article »Published: Wednesday, 18 May 2011 · comments · FreeEx

Adevarul Holding a cenzurat TOTB pentru Coca-Cola?

Vor mai trece, probabil, multe râuri de Cola, până când unele instituții de presă vor înțelege că cenzura este inadmisibilă într-un stat de drept. Pe principiul „ciocu’ mic și bea o Cola”, Adevărul Holding a oprit fără preaviz funcționarea platformei Think Outside the Box (TOTB), deși contractul de parteneriat prevedea un preaviz de 45 de zile în cazul rezilierii unilaterale.

read the article »Published: Monday, 9 May 2011 · comments · FreeEx

Ziaristul de la Realitatea e liber. Prea liber

[caption id="attachment_1398" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Prim plan: Sorin Freciu, Sorin Enache, Sebastian Ghita. Planul doi: Dragos Nedelcu. (la sedinta CNA din 5 aprilie) "][/caption] Zilele astea s-a tot discutat în presă și în mediile apropiate presei și politicului despre conflictul Ghiță – Vîntu, despre cauzele și substratul acestui conflict și despre efectul pe care îl are pe produsul finit, adică pe ce vede cetățeanul când se uită la Realitatea TV. Cele două părți aflate în conflict s-au acuzat reciproc de ingerințe editoriale.

read the article »Published: Friday, 8 April 2011 · comments · FreeEx

Csibi vs. statul roman

Csibi Barna este un cetățean român de etnie maghiară care, într-un ceremonial public, a spânzurat o păpușă care îl reprezenta pe Avram Iancu. Gestul este extrem și scandalos, întrucât acesta din urmă este un erou național pentru români. Din acest motiv, Csibi a fost criticat și de politicienii maghiari.

read the article »Published: Monday, 28 March 2011 · comments · FreeEx

Alerta de teapa pentru jurnalisti!

A verificat cineva informația sau anumiți jurnaliști vor să-i dea lui Zoso ocazia să spună că nimeni nu verifică informația din mai multe surse? Zoso a spus pe blog inclusiv că ar fi fost asociat al pretinsului său tată sindicalist, în câteva firme ale acestuia

read the article »Published: Friday, 25 March 2011 · comments · FreeEx