Romania’s Threatened Freedom of Speech

  • 2015-11-02
  • Public Seminar

On October 7, the Romanian Senate passed a law whereby anyone accused of “social defamation” can be subject to penalty. The financial sanction for individual charges varies between 1.000 RON and 30.000 RON (225 Euros-6.750 Euros), whereas fines for group defamation can go up to 22.500 Euros. The person who initiated such a mind-blowing act, Liviu Dragnea, is arguably one of the most questionable politicians in Romania. He is currently interim president of the Social Democratic Party, the same Tammany that strangely backs Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who has been accused of plagiarizing large sections of his doctoral dissertation, and houses a long list of members charged for acts of corruption.

In the meantime, several NGO’s have expressed their bewilderment and asked for immediate dismissal of the law in the Chamber of Deputies, the decisive body. The organizations held that the Act contains ambiguous definitions that would allow for abuses and gross violations of constitutional rights, such as restricting the freedom of expression...