We consider the emergency ordinance on the modification of the Penal Code and the project of the pardon law issued by the Romanian Government as an attack of unprecedented seriousness on the very core of the rule of law.
We are deeply revolted by the discretionary and non-transparent manner in which the Romanian Government aims at decriminalizing the corruption affecting our public institutions.
We share the profound indignation expressed by civil society regarding these governmental acts, all the more so as they annihilate the massive anti-corruption efforts undertaken in the past few years not only by the department of Justice, but also by a great part of civil society itself.
We also express, with concern and outrage, our belief that the contempt towards the principles of the rule of law displayed by the Romanian Government is an unambiguous marker of the degree to which it respects democratic values and public liberties, and first of all freedom of speech. The manner in which the emergency ordinance regarding the modification of the Penal Code and the project of the pardon law were adopted represents a step towards the abusive and discretionary exertion of power which, in countries lying in our immediate vicinity (the Republic of Turkey, the Russian Federation), has led to the repression and deprivation of liberty of numerous fellow writers.
PEN Romania thereby expresses its determination to use all the rapid alert channels of PEN International in order to bring to public awareness these serious threats to democracy and freedom, as well as the vibrant and brave attempts of Romanian civil society to resist this infamous abuse.