The right to freedom of assembly in practice is restricted in Romania. Human rights defenders participating in peaceful demonstrations often receive administrative fines. In the past, many of these demonstrations were devoted to the protection of people's environmental rights and prevention of unlawful land grabbing and took place in the context of entrance of big international gas and gold mining companies to the Romanian market. Several demonstrations were also linked to anti-corruption investigations.
Another obstacle for human rights NGOs in Romania is a general lack of funding inside the country. Turning to international donors in search for financial assistance for their human rights work, human rights defenders and their organisations face public accusations of being foreign agents and serving foreign interests. These accusations are used by the government to discredit particular human rights NGOs or more generally to divert the attention of the country's population from more serious problems.
Other means of discrediting the work of human rights defenders in Romania is direct creation of NGOs by government institutions. These NGOs beholden to state interests but pretending to be actively involved in human rights work are often exploited to either control the dialogue between the government and the civil society or to embezzle funds.