Recently submitted changes to the Penal Procedure Code in Romania have prompted a series of NGOs to warn about the future of the state of law in the country as “under the pretext of the fight against corruption and of so-called EU requests, the changes are in fact serious human rights abuses”.

The three NGOs – the Open Society Foundation, the Center for Judicial Resources and Transparency International-Romania – also protested yesterday against a draft law on the cereation of a National Integrity Agency, supported by the Justice Ministry and aimed at dealing with conflicts of interests.

The three organizations disagree with the possibility that prosecutors intercept electronic correspondence of people and wiretap phone conversations for 48 hours without a warrant, as mentioned in Justice Ministry-supported changes tot the Penal Procedure Code.

And they warn that instead of a justice reform that would strengthen the power and responsabilities of judges, the current provisions undermine the activities of magistrates while unsustainably boosting prosecutors’ attributes.

“Such penal policies, better suited for a police state, will not draw us closer to the EU as will not be able to become compatible with EU standards and requests by limiting human rights”, the NGOs warn.