Romania: US Ambassador slams anti-defamation bill

AP News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2016 7:19 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The U.S. Ambassador to Romania has added his voice to criticism of an anti-defamation bill, saying free speech is a key fundament of a democratic society.

Romania's Parliament is due to vote this week on the controversial bill, which has been widely criticized for its potential to inhibit freedom of expression in the former communist country.

Lawmaker Liviu Dragnea, who initiated the measure, says it aims to protect social and ethnic groups from discrimination.

Ambassador Hans G. Klemm said Monday the U.S. supports free speech "even in cases where the chosen expression offends," calling it "a fundamental aspect of a healthy democratic society."

He said the U.S. condemns "discrimination and hate...... and we oppose laws that forbid offensive expression at the price of freedom of expression."