The International Press Institute has urged Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu to free two journalists accused of printing leaflets critical of Ceausescu's leadership.

The letter from institute director Peter Galliner called for the immediate release of Petre Mihai Bacanu and Anton Uncu, who were arrested in January in Bucharest."We ask for immediate assurance of their well-being and request that they are allowed access to family and legal aid," Gallinger said in the letter that was released Friday.

It called the arrests "violations of human and professional rights and freedom of expression."

Bacanu and Uncu were reporters for the government newspaper Romania Libera. Arrested with them were Mihai Creanga, a theater critic with the magazine Romania Pitoreasca, and Alexandru Ghiroiu, a linotypist at the Casa Scinteii publishing firm. The institute letter mentioned only Bacanu and Uncu.