Update April 24 2019 - one suspect was caught by the Police

The Romanian Police communicated that it identified one person as the suspect who sent the death threat message to Emilia Sercan. The suspect is a police officer, connected to the Police Academy. We consider the news as positive and we appreciate the effort of the Romanian Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is a deed that in normal circumstances would be a regular professional success, but in the Romanian context, it becomes exceptional. We are looking forward to see the developments in this case, and a prosecutor's file sent to court.

Attn. of: Mrs. Carmen Dan,  Minister of Internal Affairs

Attn. of: Mr. Ioan Buda - Chief Inspector of the Romanian Police General Inspectorate

Dear Mrs Dan,

Dear Mr Buda,


We are writing to you on behalf of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and ActiveWatch regarding the case of Mrs Emilia Șercan, an investigative journalist in Romania for over 20 years, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies within the University of Bucharest for the past 7 years and a freelance journalist for PressOne.ro portal.


Mrs Emilia Șercan has received death threats on Monday evening, April 15th, at  21:05, via a text message on her mobile phone (see print screen below, part of the message was censored in this public communication as Emilia does not want to create more stress to her family):


„We are sending this message with the purpose of preventing what will follow, it all depends on you. Stop all actions that you are currently undertaking… if you don’t want ordeal to follow. (...)“


As you certainly know, Mrs Șercan published extensively about the plagiarized Ph.D. theses of high-ranking state officials (such as: a deputy prime-minister, two ministers of Internal Affairs, a Defense minister, an Education minister, a Health minister, a first deputy-in-chief to the Romanian Prosecutor General, a chief of the Judicial Inspection, politicians, judges, rectors, secret services generals and police quaestor), but her work focused in the past weeks on members of the Romanian Police and the Police Academy. It seems obvious that her work is the explanation of these threats and that the authors want to intimidate her in order to make her stop her investigations.


Mrs Șercan has notified the Romanian police about these threats.


By writing to you today, we call you to take all appropriate measures in order to protect Emilia Șercan, to make sure that the journalist is in complete security, 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.


If anything should happen to Mrs Șercan, we RSF and ActiveWatch, would consider the Romanian authorities responsible for not acting and taking immediately the appropriate measures to protect the journalist. We remain at your entire disposal to discuss this issue in order to respond to this demand as soon as possible.


Pauline Adès-Mével

Head of EU-Balkan desk of Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

33 7 82372312 / padesmevel@rsf.org


Liana Ganea

FreeEx Program Director of ActiveWatch

0723306308/ liana.ganea@activewatch.ro



The Minister of Interior reacted on Wednesday night, and published a message on Facebook condemning the death threat, especially as a journalist was the target, and confirming that a police investigation is ongoing.


ActiveWatch / CC BY 3.0