ROMANIA: SEEMO calls for protection of Romanian journalists in surveillance case

ROMANIA, ROMANIA, 06/12/2015, 08:25

Vienna, 6 December 2015 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed its support for Romanian journalist Catalin Tolontan of the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper.

Tolontan was allegedly followed by an unidentified man and woman, who were spotted surveying the journalist’s home by a neighbour on the night of November 24-25 in Bucharest, Romania.

Tolontan and his colleagues have published investigative stories about the tragic Colectiv club fire on 30 October, when 60 people died. The articles raised questions about the role that authorities might have played in the tragedy, alleging that the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (GIES) failed to ensure proper safety precautions in the public space.

Tolontan discovered that even though authorities first claimed the fire department had no information about the concert before it took place, a fax was sent to the authorities beforehand by the concert organizer. Authorities then confirmed receipt of the document and allegedly began an internal investigation.

"I urge the authorities to investigate what happened in front of the home of Catalin Tolontan on the night of November 24-25 and inform the public about the results of the investigation”, Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.

SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe. SEEMO’s 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.

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