OSCE Media Representative condemns intimidation of journalists in Italy
ROMA – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovid, today condemned continued intimidation and threats against investigative journalists in Italy and urged the Italian authorities to take action and investigate all such cases.
he deplored a recent brutal attack against Fabio Cosma Colombo, a journalist of the daily newspaper Metropolis. On 28 February near the city of Salerno, Colombo was beaten unconscious in the presence of a police officer, who failed to intervene. The journalist was allegedly collecting information about a young man’s death, later declared a suicide.
This assault is one of many recent attempts to intimidate Italian journalists. On 1 March, a death threat containing four bullets was sent to the headquarters of the public service-broadcaster RAI in Rome. The letter was addressed to four prominent journalists: Michele Santoro, the host of the political show Annozero; Marco Travaglio, co-founder of the independent newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano” and a regular guest of Annozero; Gianni Barbacetto, a well-known journalist investigating corruption cases, and Peter Gomez, editor of the online daily ilfattoquotidiano.it.
“I am deeply concerned by the climate of violence and intimidation against journalists reporting on such serious matters of public interest, as the organized crime,” Mijatovid said. “Attempts to silence investigative journalism undermine democratic values.”
“It is even more alarming that these attacks appear to take place in an atmosphere of impunity. I call upon the authorities to carry out swift and transparent investigation into all those cases. It is essential that Italian authorities do their utmost to promote a safe working environment for all journalists,” Mijatovid stressed.