Two investigative journalists, intimidated and threatened with physical harm//CIJM lodged a complaint with IGP

The Centre of Investigative Journalism lodged a complaint with the General Police Inspectorate (IGP) on 30 December, in connection with several cases of intimidation and threats with physical harm of 2 investigative journalists. The President of the Center of Investigative Journalism Cornelia Cozonac received a letter by which she was intimidated and threatened with use of violence through offensive language. In another case, an envelope that contained different viruses was sent to the editorial offices of the paper from the address of the Center of Investigative Journalism. The sender signed as journalist Mariana Colun. On Tuesday, 31 December, several media organizations condemned by a joint statement, intimidation actions against journalists and demand that the Interior Ministry should identify these persons and should punish them in accordance with the law.

The letter sent to Cornelia Cozonac, signed with the name Boris Leanca, appears to be an address from Elena Băncilă (name of a journalist) to a man named Borea, who calls for a service, which consists of physical harm through various arrangements with Cornelia Cozonac. A licentious language is used in the text. "[......] there is one Cornelia Cozonac (...) and I want you to find me something for her. Some drugs to get her to sleep somewhere", reads the letter.

Even if the sender signed the letter as Boris Leanca, in the letter, the author is Elena Băncila, which addresses to Boris, both the text on the envelope and the letter appear to be written by one person.

Also, on 18 December 2019, envelopes were sent in the mailbox of several editors, including Ziarul de Garda and the DESCHIDE.MD portal, on the verso of which, the sender signed as the journalist of CIJM Mariana Colun, as well as the address of the Centre of Investigative Journalism. Those envelopes included a DVD containing several pictures, apparently made in the penitentiary, but also several electronic viruses/harmful programs to which the computer operating system protection system reacted.

Journalists Cornelia Cozonac and Mariana Colun filed a complaint with the General Police Inspectorate and said that such personal data as their name, surname and job addresses were used by unknowns without their consent with the aim of infecting the computers in the editorial office with malicious software and/or of altering the integrity of information.

Media NGOs also show concern about the actions taken by anonymous persons who intimidate journalists and editorial staffs and demand that the Interior Ministry should identify these persons and should punish them in accordance with the law.