Public affairs consultant Damien Phillips has posted on Monday on conservativehome.com an analysis of the situation in Romania in terms of free press. Here are some of his opinions:
“Stuart Ramsay of Sky News, a British investigative journalist, is now finding this out to his cost. He had the temerity to air a report about Romanian gun-runners willing to sell military-grade weapons of Russian origin to terrorists. As Britain’s security services warn of potential Paris-style terror attacks at home, gangs in Romania are trading weapons to anyone willing to pay for them.
Brussels launched an investigation into Romanian border control, but instead of cleaning up its act Romania quickly chose to shoot the messenger. Dacian Cioloș, Romania’s Prime Minister, lashed out – claiming it was unacceptable to denigrate a country without proof. On 17 August, Ramsay was officially prosecuted by Romania’s anti-terrorism unit. The prosecutors invoked an obscure national security law of “giving out false information” and Ramsay, and his two colleagues, are now being prosecuted for forming an “organised criminal group”. Valentin Jucan, Romanian Secretary of State for media supervision, wants Ramsay to face trial in Romania imminently.”
In August the prosecutors announced they will conduct investigations related to crimes against national security in the case of alleged gun running reported by Sky News from Romania, as Romania Journal informed at the time. DIICOT announced that the prosecutors will proceed to summon Sky News journalists for hearings, under criminal procedures and laws regarding international judicial cooperation.
The prosecutors will focus on crimes against national security, respectively on spreading false information. The charge is stipulated at article 404 in the Romanian Criminal Code.