Romania: Criminal law reform on the wrong track

Index Number: EUR 39/001/1994

Amnesty International is concerned about certain provisions of the Romanian Penal Code. Articles 238 and 239 criminalize defamation of state officials. AI believes that these articles violate the right to freedom of expression as set out in Article 19 of the ICCPR. A journalist was recently arrested under article 238 and detained for five days for writing a satirical article. Another provision which contravenes international treaties ratified by Romania is Article 200, which allows for the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of consenting adults engaging in homosexual acts in private. AI learned of five men imprisoned under this provision in 1993 whom it considered to be prisoners of conscience.

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