To: Ministry of Interior and the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police
The attention of the Minister Gabriel Oprea and Mr Petre Toba, General Inspector of Romanian Police


Romanian media watchdog ActiveWatch is asking the nation’s Interior Ministry and the Police to urgently launch a transparent investigation into a violent assault by three employees of Bucharest Police’s Historic Center (Section 10) against journalist Stefan Mako from independent media site CasaJurnalistului.ro.


This is imperative as the three policemen, including senior officer Police Eduard Mardare, represent a danger to citizens who respect freedom of speech. The journalist in question was undertaking a vital investigation into police violence in Bucharest’s packed and buzzing tourist hub, following the death of a jobless man in suspicious circumstances in March 2014 in Section 10 (Report here by APADOR-CH in Romanian) and numerous complaints of police abuse and violence from concerned citizens. On November 10 2014, journalist Stefan Mako saw three police officers in the public space of the historic center assaulting a homeless man. The journalist began filming the proceedings with his phone. When a police officer asked Mako to stop, the officer hit the journalist, but Mako continued to record. He then followed the policemen, as they accosted the homeless person to Section 10. In front of the section, a policeman asked the journalist to present his ID, then he snatched the phone from his hand, deleted the footage and took the journalist inside the section. Inside, the police officer hit Mako, spat on him and threatened him. A forensic certificate obtained by the journalist after being assaulted proves the presence of injuries.


We present some quotes used by the officers of law enforcement to journalist Stefan Mako, according to his story. We apologize in advance for the profanity.

"And what if you're a journalist? Hey friend, get out of here, I asked you nicely, ok?” "You're a journalist, huh? I piss on you!” "You are from Covasna [a majority Hungarian and rural in central Romania]?! Well - why do you come from the countryside to comment? Film my dick!" "Now fuck you in the ass, take my dick. That's journalism? Now fuck you in the ass!”


We call on the Ministry of Interior and the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police to send us the results of the investigation on this very serious case.
Romania is still under the Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification of the European Union to monitor its progress on tackling high and low level corruption among state bodies.

ActiveWatch


Translated and adapted by: Michael Bird

 

Romanian version

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