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“Don’t hit journalists!” Protest Statement by AEJ Romania

“Don’t hit journalists!” Protest Statement by AEJ Romania

The Romanian section of the Association of European Journalists, (AZIR, the Association of Independent Journalists in Romania), calls on the authorities involved in the forceful breaking up the recent protests against the current government, the Gendarmerie, the Police and other forces, to respect the right of journalists to carry out their work under safe conditions, in order to provide full information to the public. The aggression, eviction or detention of journalists in the exercise of their duties violates constitutional rights enshrined in Articles 30 and 31, as well as numerous provisions of European standards of press freedom and human rights.

We condemn the aggression against journalist Robert Mihailescu from Hotnews during the protest of the diaspora on Aug. 10, 2018. Although Mihailescu identified himself as a journalist he was beaten by the gendarmes, and his phone was crushed. He has filed a complaint with the police. The bullying of the DIGI 24 team Cristian Popa and Cristian Ban, and the tear-gassing of many journalists was wholly unjustified and wrong. We also consider inadmissible the injuries inflicted on Robert Reinprecht, a cameraman of Austrian public television ORF, as well as the manhandling of the ORF correspondent, Ernst Gelegs. We note that both Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Press Club have sent  messages to the Romanian authorities expressing concern at the negative image of Romania in Europe arising from these events.