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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 11th – 17th April, 2014

The eleventh of the 48 weekly reports created with the support of the European Union and distributed in eleven countries to promote a common understanding

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report 11th – 17th April, 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news 

Ossigeno per l’Informazione presented in Rome, at a press conference in the headquarters of the FNSI (the unitary union of Italian Journalists) the project Safety Net for European Journalists, noting that this initiative, supported by the European Commission, allows for the first time to conduct a homogeneous monitoring on an international scale of intimidations of journalists and bloggers, and compare the experiences of various countries in the assistance to victims. At the same time, the director of Ossigeno, Mr Alberto Spampinato, anticipated the content of the next Annual Report. The main figure is the worsening of the phenomenon: in the first three months of 2014 the Observatory has already reported that 151 journalists and media workers in Italy have been affected by threats, intimidations and abuses. This figure indicates a 50% increase in the rate of intimidations from the previous year. Ossigeno has called the attention of the Italian Government on the issue.

 

One of the most egregious cases of the week is the judicial foreclosure of the monthly magazine La Voce delle Voci, for the coverage of damages of 69 thousand euros (plus another 28 thousand in accrued interests) imposed by a conviction for defamation in the first degree for an article written in 2008. The magazine’s foreclosure follows the seizure of the bank accounts of journalists and is putting at risk the opportunity to continue publishing.

THREATS – After the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which occurred in 2012, two executives of the shipping company Costa Crociere were taped while talking on the phone about how to block the journalist of the TG2 news service Mr Francesco Vitale, because his reporting where embarrassing the company. Menwhile, the envoy for the TV programme Striscia la Notizia Mr Edoardo Stoppa was insulted and threatened with a stick by the owner of a ranch near Busto Arsizio that, according to the reporter, was selling lambs in defiance of the law’s norms. A few days earlier, the same Mr Stoppa was reached by a defamation lawsuit from the Italian Hunting Union (SVI) for a service on January, 6th that denounced illegal practices in the Veneto region.

INJUCTIONS – The City Council of Bussi, in the province of Pescara, approved on April, 7th an order of injuction against all national and local media in mentioning the city’s name in the articles speaking of the Montedison landfill that would be poisoning the aquifers of the Valpescara.

RELEASE ORDER – On April 15th, the VI Criminal Division of the Supreme Court has ordered the release of the telephone, computer and other tools taken from the journalist of L’Ora della Calabria Mr Consolato Minniti, who on September, 12th was the object of a search order by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Reggio Calabria following the release of an article recounting what happened during a meeting at the national Anti-Mafia National Directorate between Mr Gianfranco Donaddio, national anti-Mafia adjunct prosecutor, and six other magistrates.

JOURNALISTS SUE – The reporters of the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano Mr Giuseppe Lo Bianco and Ms Sandra Rizza have sued the new commissioner of the Cultural Heritage of the Sicilian Region, Mr Antonio Fiumefreddo, who, on April 10th, in an interview with the online magazine Sudpress called them “ spokesman of the mafia bourgeoisie”.

MEMORY – Various initiatives have been organized for the commemoration of the Italian reporter Vittorio Arrigoni, who was kidnapped in Gaza on April 14th, 2011 by a fundamentalist group of Salafists and found dead the next day.

Intimidations and threats against journalists. An Increase in Italy

Appeal to the Government. The Safety Net Project. The data indicate a worsening of the phenomenon. The press file of the conference held on Monday, April 14th at the FNSI headquarters.

With the project Safety Net for European Journalists, co-ordinated by the Observatory on the Balkans and the Caucasus (OBC) in Rovereto, and supported by the European Commission, the defence of freedom of information based on monitoring of intimidations against journalists and bloggers and assistance to the victims, conducted in Italy by Ossigeno per l’Informazione, was extended to ten other countries. (continua a leggere in italiano).

Ossigeno: threats against journalists +50 %. Government must intervene.

151 cases in three months. What is politics doing? The law on defamation. Testimonies by Andrea Cinquegrani, Claudio Pappaianni  and Carlo Ceraso.

Since January 1st, the cases of intimidation against journalists in our country have increased by 50% in the first hundred days. Ossigeno has reported 151 cases. (read more)

The magazine La Voce delle Voci foreclosed for defamation. Alarm raised.

Magazine sentenced to pay compensation to Ms Annita Zinni (IDV). Publications at risk. Ossigeno: a disproportionate sentence, punitive rules must be changed.

The foreclosure notice, sent to the monthly of Campania on April 10th, and following the conviction in the first degree handed in March of last year by the civil Court of Sulmona, requires a 69’000 euros in damages plus interests to the current coordinator of the IDV party for the capital of Abruzzi, Ms Annita Zinni, for an article written in 2008, and subsequently partially rectified, in which her role in the formation of the son of Mr Antonio di Pietro, Cristiano, is taken into account. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Costa Concordia. Interception of managers reveals threats

In the trial for the shipwreck of 2012 near the Isola del Giglio, a dialogue between two managers of the cruise company have been presented, and in which explicit references to the journalist Mr Francesco Vitale (TG2) were made.

“Those guys there: we have to remove them” is the phrase referring to the journalists, and in particular to the reporter of the TG2 news service Mr Francesco Vitale. The conversation contained in the transcript was taken from an environmental interception that recorded the conversation between the two executives of the Costa Crociere shipping company. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Threatened and victim of complaint the reporter for Striscia La Notizia.

The hunting union is suing Mr Edoardo Stoppa. A few days later the owner of a farm threatened him and his cameraman with a stick.

The reporter for the TV programme Striscia la Notizia, Mr Edoardo Stoppa, received at the beginning of April a lawsuit by the Italian Hunting Union (SVI). (continua a leggere in italiano)

Montedison landfill: City Council of Bussi  (PE) warns the press

The local administration has asked the journalists not to associate the name of the town to a court case. The President of the Region Mr Chiodi: “mere scaremongering”.

The City Council of Bussi, a town of 2500 inhabitants in the province of Pescara, approved on April, 7th an order of injunction against all national and local media if mentioning the name of Bussi in reference to the Montedison landfill, which is apparently poisoning the aquifers of the Valpescara (the case is yet under trial). (continua a leggere in italiano)

Released assets seized from reporter of L’Ora della Calabria

In September 2013, by order of the prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, the phones, computers and other tools of the journalist Mr Consolato Minniti had been seized.

The VI Criminal Division of the Supreme Court on April 15th ordered the release of the assets removed from the journalist of L’Ora della Calabria Consolato Minniti, who on September 12th was the victim of a search ordered by the public prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, following the release of an article about what happened during a meeting at the National Anti-Mafia Directorate between Mr Gianfranco Donaddio, national Anti-Mafia adjunct prosecutor, and six other magistrates. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Journalists of daily Il Fatto Quotidiano sue councillor of Sicily region

The reporters of the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano Mr Giuseppe Lo Bianco and Ms Sandra Rizza have given the lawyer of the Order of Journalists of Palermo Mr Nino Caleca the disposition to sue the new Councillor for the Cultural Heritage of the Sicilian Region, Mr Antonio Fiumefreddo, because on April, 10th, in an interview with the online magazine Sudpress, he called them “spokesman of the mafia bourgeoisie”. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Three years ago, the reporter Vittorio Arrigoni was killed in Gaza

The collaborator was the only western witness present during the first days of the Israeli bombing “Liquid Lead”. His diary has become a movie.

On the evening of April 14th, 2011, Mr Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped in Gaza by a fundamentalist Salafist group: the day after his body was found in a house. (continua a leggere in italiano)

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