September 9, 2004




Adrian Nastase

Prime Minister of Romania

Nicolae Vacaroiu
President of the Romanian Senate
Bucharest, Romania

Your Excellencies,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe, and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), expresses its deep concern over the attack on two journalists from Ziua newspaper.

According to information before SEEMO, on 3 September, reporter Petre Niteanu and photographer Laura Dobre from the Bucharest-based daily Ziua were attacked by bodyguards and employees of the companies, VGB and BRONEC. The incident happened while they were trying to take pictures of VGB headquarters in Stelutei Street in Bucharest.

SEEMO is further informed that the journalists, who presented their ID cards, were on public property when they were approached and threatened by the bodyguards. The journalists immediately called the police, who, after arriving on the scene, did nothing to protect them. After the photographer was physically and verbally attacked, the police advised the journalists to leave the scene.

SEEMO strongly condemns the attack on the two journalists and urges the Romanian authorities to give their closest attention to the investigation of this case and to find the responsible persons. We would remind Your Excellencies that a safe working environment for journalists is a fundamental principle of any democratic society and we hope that the Romanian officials will solve this case in a timely manner.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

SEEMO Secretary General