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Romania9 August 2002

Intimidation of an opposition journalist

Reporters Without Borders today protested against a campaign of intimidation targeted at journalist Silvia Vranceanu of the opposition newspaper Evenimentul Zilei.

"It is intolerable that an opposition journalist is personally targeted because of what her newspaper publishes, especially when her private life is affected", Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase. "We ask you to rein in the political figures in the Social Democratic Party who have been responsible for this intimidation", the letter added.

Vranceanu, 26, who is her newspaper’s correspondent in Focsani (200 km east of the capital), has been the target of intimidation since the newspaper ran articles raising questions about the ruling Social-Democratic Party’s regional leaders, including the head of the county government, Marius Oprisan. At the start of August, the OTV private television station broadcast a 50-minute recording showing the journalist dancing naked at a private party eight years ago. Oprisan had warned her of this before it was broadcast. She says she has also received anonymous threats.

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