A recent statement by Romanian ruling party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea has triggered worry among media watch organization ActiveWatch members, who warn of his intention to reinstate political censorship in Romania.
Dragnea, who made the statement at the party’s most recent congress last weekend, plans to reintroduce slander in the Criminal Code, targeting those who criticize Romania abroad by “lying”.
The ActiveWatch NGO warns that reporting to EU institutions on corruption or anti-democratic policies from Romanian officials would in fact mean defending the country, not slandering. European justice protects every citizen’s right to criticize the governing power in their country, ActiveWatch reminds. Romania’s Constitution also forbids censorship of any kind.
The PSD leader argued during a TV show that Romanian officials lying about their country in front of EU institutions could lead to sanctions, delays or losing advantages for Romania. The NGO emphasizes such statements remind of the “supreme leader” Romania had during Communism and asks the governing party and Liviu Dragnea himself to rather serve the Romanian people and support free speech.
ActiveWatch sent its open letter to all European countries’ embassies to Bucharest, the European Commission office and other EU institutions locally.