The OSCE believes the reintroduction of insult and libel in Romania’s Penal Code is worrisome and a step back in attempts to consolidate the framework of a free press.

The warning was included in a report presented by the OSCE representative for press freedom Miklos Haraszti before the organization’s permanent council on Wednesday, writes Ioana Avadani, head of the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest, on her blog at (Ro.).

In the section on Romania, Haraszti said he was worried about the Romanian Constitutional Court’s decision on January 18 this year to annul a previous legislative amendment adopted last year that removed insult and libel from the Penal Code.

He said the measure comes against sustained efforts of his department and of others to all OSCE members to remove libel and related crimes from the criminal code into civil code.