The International Federation of Journalists has backed its affiliate, MediaSind, in condemning physical attacks by Romanian police against journalists.
According to a report by The Center for Independent Journalism, on the evening of August 10, 2018, gendarmes physically and verbally attacked a number of Romanian journalists, including Ioana Moldovan from Documentaria, Robert Mihăilescu from Hotnews, and DW correspondent Cristi Stefanescu. Media equipment was smashed and damaged, and the journalists’ cell phones were confiscated. The aggressions took place in an area reserved for the press.
MediaSind claimed “the Gendarmerie's public attitude is inexplicable….the state institutions have the obligation, in accordance with the provisions of the Romanian Constitution and international conventions to which Romania has joined, to protect media workers when they are operating in situations of risk. Only by respecting this goal, is the freedom of expression of journalists guaranteed.”
According to MediaSind, there have been numerous such cases where journalists have been wounded while doing their job, reporting recent protests and about the intervention of the gendarmes.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger strongly condemned the police’s aggression towards journalists. «We urge the Romanian authorities to immediately investigate these illegal actions, and sanction both the gendarmes and those who gave the orders,» he said.