Romania: RSF and its partners demand renewed investigation into crimes against a journalist

In an open letter to the Romanian General Prosecutor, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joins seven other journalists and media freedom organizations in condemning the negligent and error-strewn investigation into the crimes committed against investigative journalist Emilia Șercan, known for revealing the plagiarism of the doctoral theses of some high-ranking Romanian politicians.

A month after revealing that Nicolae Ciucă, then Prime Minister of Romania, had plagiarized his PhD thesis, Emilia Șercan discovered that five of her personal photos had been stolen and uploaded to 31 adult websites.

Evidence that Șercan gave to the police to investigate the theft and violation of her privacy was published online and distributed on some 80 websites as part of an obvious smear campaign 40 minutes after she left the police station. There are strong, data-driven suspicions that the photos were leaked from the police to the media who republished them.

Twenty months later, Șercan was informed that the file investigating these offences would be "resolved" by the end of October. With no suspects identified, Șercan believes this can only mean the closure of the case, which would be a devastating blow to the journalist and other Romanian journalists trying to hold the powerful to account.

Another case in which Șercan complained of a threat received the day after she revealed that Nicolae Ciucă's PhD thesis was plagiarized was recently closed by prosecutors arguing that it was "not in the public interest" to continue the investigation.

The letter calls for the investigation to be taken over by the General Prosecutor's Office, under the direct supervision of the General Prosecutor, in order to ensure justice.

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