The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed concern over the potential lawsuit against journalist Liviu Avram, issued by a high-ranking court official in Romania. Avram published an op-ed in the daily Adevarlul about political bias in the Constitutional Court. A court official responded by criticising the journalist, claiming that ‘no one can do this’ and ‘having a newspaper at hand does not mean you can write whatever you want’.
‘Public officials should be aware that they are subject to a higher level of scrutiny that private individuals as a result of the trust that the public has placed in them,’ said SEEMO General Secretary Oliver Vujovic. ‘Additionally, they should be aware of the role of critical journalism in a democratic society. The article in question was clearly identified as an opinion piece, and Avram has the right to explore important issues in a critical way through the media. We urge authorities to drop the charges against Liviu Avram.’
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.