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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 14th- 20th March 2014

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

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report 14th to 20th March 2014: What is going on in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news

Assaults, threats, in sults, but also preventive seizures and frivolous lawsuits. These are the news with which Ossigeno per l’Informazione was occupied this week. In the space of just a few days there have been several incidents of physical violence against journalists: on March 1st, before the match Roma- Inter, a photographer for the news agency GMT was beaten by a Roma fan at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium. On March 6th, a chronicler of the Gazzetta di Parma was insulted and threatened by some exhibitors at an antiques’ fair in Bologna, for having reported in an article that the Guardia di Finanza had made some controls over their activities. A week later, in Molfetta, near Bari, two journalists were beaten and threatened, and at different times, on the site of a murder. The next day in Calabria, in Paola (Cosenza), a reporter was slapped and pushed by a man who prevented him from photographing a lawyer involved in a criminal investigation. Finally, in Carrara, Mr Pier Paolo Santi and Mr Francesco Sinatti, the online magazine Inchiostro scomodo, have reported a series of episodes of intimidation: threatening phone calls, stalking, a damaged car and gunshots against the dog of one of the two.

Many cases were also complaints and judicial measures against journalists and their newspapers: the Milan daily Il Giornale was ordered to remove an article in which Mr Luca Fazzo wrote that the judge of the Supreme Court which sentenced to 14 months in jail his editor, Mr Alessandro Sallusti, was also a friend of the magistrate whose lawsuit triggered the trial ended with in a conviction.

Two complaints by public administrators have also been reported. One involved the mayor of Anzio against Ms Rory Cappelli, collaborator of the newspaper La Repubblica for an article in which, according to information provided by a judicial source, the mayor appears involved in a criminal investigation. In Verona, following the lawsuit of the mayor Mr Flavio Tosi against the journalist from Report Mr Sigfrido Ranucci, the Councillor to the sport and demographic services, Mr Marco Giorlo, also sued the same journalist. Moreover, the actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta announced a lawsuit against Mr Roberto Saviano, for some remarks made by the writer through social networks regarding her and her husband.

The journalist Mr Michele Santoro and the broadcaster RAI were sentenced on March 12th for defamation against the lawyer and former senator of the PDL Mr Giancarlo Pittelli, for an episode of the TV programme Annozero in 2008. They will have to pay a compensation of 30 thousand euros. Three years after the opening of the case, the journalist Mr Giuseppe Caporale of La Repubblica and the editor of the newspaper from Abruzzo Il Centro, Mr Luigi Vicinanza, were indicted for libel for an article in which they reported alleged links between a local politician and the Casalesi clan of the.

In another episode, on the other hand, the plaintiff is a journalist: two people were indicted for libel for insulting the reputation of Ms Cristina Puglisi, collaborator for Il Giornale di Sicilia. They had released in some places of the historical centre of Nicosia (in the province of Enna, in Sicily) offensive flyers with insults against her.

Meanwhile, contradictions on the Libel Law emerge from new pronouncements of the Supreme Court, annulling prison sentences issued by lower courts. The V Criminal Section of the Court of Cassation quashed the sentence of six months imprisonment to a chronicler of the editor of the newspaper La Voce di Romagna, and simultaneously reiterated that journalists guilty of defamation may go to jail only in “exceptional circumstances”. This ruling gave Franco Siddi, secretary of the National Federation of the press (FNSI), an opportunity to propose that the reform of the libel law, which provides for the abolition of imprisonment, be approved immediately, even if this part of the body of the reform is dropped.

A new episode of discrimination has occurred in the field of sports reporting. The former official photographer of the Arezzo Football club has filed a complaint claiming to be a victim of an unfair dismissal: the lay off occurred following a protest against the Arezzo Football Club signed by six local newspapers, including one of which he is the editor and director.

Memory. A social mobilization supported by the collection of more than sixty thousand signatures has prompted the government to announce that it will consider the possibility of removing the state secret from a few documents that prevent to ensure the responsibility about the murder of Ilaria Alpi and Miran Hrovatin, two Italian reporters murdered in Mogadishu, Somalia, twenty years ago, in mysterious circumstances. Luciana Alpi, mother of the reporter.

Rome. Photographer of GMT news agency beaten by AS Roma fan

He was, on March 1st, outside the Olympic Stadium before the match Roma-Inter, taking pictures of the procession of hooligans who were unable to enter the sector

Beaten while he was performing his job. It happened outside the Olympic stadium to a photographer from the agency GMT who works for the newspaper Il Tempo. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Parma. Journalist insulted and threatened during a fair

A chronicler for the Gazzetta di Parma was insulted, because she had written an article on the complaints by exhibitors on the repeated checks by the Guardia di Finanza

 “I was surrounded by about fifty people who began insulting me ​​and threatening me. I lived a truly difficult moment.” So Ms Laura Frugoni, a journalist for La Gazzetta di Parma, tells the story in which she has played a leading role on March 6th at the Mercanteinfiera fair, an exhibition of antiques in Bologna. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Molfetta. Two reporters assaulted on the scene of a murder

A cameraman from Punto TV and a journalist of the Corriere del Mezzogiorno were beaten and threatened as they were filming at the crime scene

A cameraman and a reporter were attacked on March 13th in Molfetta, a town in the province of Bari, while they were on the scene of a murder near the city market. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Calabria. Shoves and slapps against the journalist who takes photos

It happened to Mr Paolo Orofino (Quotidiano della Calabria) in the city of Paola, right in the main square while Servizio Pubblico was interviewing a lawyer involved in a scandal

The journalist of the newspaper Quotidiano della Calabria Mr Paolo Orofino, was attacked on March 14th in the central square of Paola, in the province of Cosenza, by a person who, with slaps and shoves, made him unable to shoot photographs of a consultant of the ASP of Cosenza while he was being interviewed by a television crew of Servizio Pubblico. (continua a leggere)

Carrara. Journalists denounce: “they are following us and threatening us”

Threatening phone calls, damage, presences felt on the street, and the dog of a journalist was shot

“We are alone” is the complaint made by the authors of an investigation site due to the threatening phone calls, the stalking, the damages to cars and the shooting of a dog right outside the house of a journalist. These are acts of intimidation reported by Mr Pier Paolo Santi and Mr Francesco Sinatti, reporters of the online magazine Inchisotro Scomodo (Uncomfortable Ink) and authors of books on the mafia and organized crime in Tuscany. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Il Giornale. Pre-emptive seizure for an online article

The carabinieri in the newspaper’s headquarters with a decree from the judge: the chronicler Mr Luca Fazzo, involved in a lawsuit for defamation on the Sallusti case cried “is it fair to seize an article even before a judge has determined whether it is defamatory?”

This is what Luca Fazzo, reporter for Il Giornale, is asking himself following he arrival of the police on Thursday, March 13th, at the headquarters of the newspaper. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Anzio. Mayor files lawsuit against La Repubblica, which writes: he is under investigation

The newspaper had published a reply by the first citizen who pleaded to be alien from the issue

The protest of Roman Press Association and Ossigeno. The Press Association has accused the mayor of Anzio, Mr Luciano Bruschini, in an attempt to intimidate the journalist Ms Rory Cappelli, collaborator of the newspaper La Repubblica, by announcing a lawsuit for an article published on March 13th in which there was a reference to a judicial source of information on an inquiry in which the, amongst others, mayor is involved. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Verona. Another Lawsuit against the TV show Report

After the mayor Mr Flavio Tosi, now also the Councillor for Sports and demographic services, Mr Marco Giorlo, decided to sue the journalist Sigfrido Ranucci

Following the libel suit received in February by the mayor of Verona, Mr Flavio Tosi, the journalist of Report, Mr Sigfrido Ranucci, also received another lawsuit from the councillor for sports and demographic services for the Venetian city, Mr Marco Giorlo. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Ms Cucinotta announces lawsuit against Mr Saviano

According to the actress, her reputation has been damaged by the remarks of the writer made on her and her husband

The actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta announced on March 18th that she had instructed her legal guardian to defend her rights and those of her husband, Mr Giulio Violati. According to her, the writer, Mr Roberto Saviano, had harmed her through some statements made on social networks. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Mr Santoro and RAI sentenced to compensate former Senator PDL

Mr Giancarlo Pittelli had asked for a compensation of two million euros for what was said in a 2008 episode of the TV show Annozero

The journalist, Mr Michele Santoro and RAI were sentenced on March 12th to a 30 thousand euros compensation because they were considered guilty of libel against the lawyer and former senator of the PDL Mr Giancarlo Pittelli. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Complaints. Indicted Mr Caporale and editor of Il Centro

They reported alleged links of a politician from Abruzzo with the Camorra in businesses tied to the post-earthquake reconstruction. They will go to court in 2015

Three years ago, the then-Senator and regional coordinator of Abruzzo of the Forza Italia party Mr Filippo Piccone, sued the reporter Mr Giuseppe Caporale, reporter for La Repubblica, and the editor of the local newspaper Il Centro, Mr Luigi Vicinanza, following the publication of two articles concerning a criminal investigation against him. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Sicily. Defamed journalist, two indicted

They distributed around the historical centre of Nicosia (in the province of Enna) flyers with unrepeatable epithets against Ms Cristina Puglisi and two police officers

Two people were investigated and then indicted for libel for insulting the reputation of the journalist Ms Cristina Puglisi, a contributor to the Giornale di Sicilia, as well as that of an inspector and a former director of the police station in Nicosia, in the province of Enna. (continua a leggere in italiano)

The Supreme Court: defamation, no to prison sentences for journalists

The sentence to six months in prison for a reporter and the editor of the newspaper La Voce di Romagna was annulled

Journalists convicted of defamation must go to prison only in “exceptional circumstances”. It was said by the V Criminal Section of the Supreme Court in its judgment number 12203, in which it also stated that journalists are victims of “serious and unwarranted attacks, also by political movements, and precisely in order to limit their irreplaceable informative function.” (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Siddi: may Parliament abolish prison sentences

So says the secretary of the FNSI after the last judgment of the Supreme Court, which overturned a sentence of imprisonment

“The reform of libel law must be quickly approved by Parliament”, Mr Franco Siddi, secretary of the National Federation of the press, says. He proposes to delete the part that provides for the abolition of the prison to get to the finishing line “in a short time”. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Arezzo Football Club. Photographer says: “laid off in retaliation”

The collaboration of Mr Giulio Cirinei was interrupted by the will of the club, which is facing a general strike by local reporters

After the protest of six local newspapers against the Arezzo football club, the president of the sporting society has dismissed the club’s official photographer, who is also publisher and editor of one of the online newspapers involved in the “silence strike”. (continua a leggere in italiano)

The mother of Ilaria Alpi: “enough secrets, I’m disgusted”

“She and Miran were executed”, Ms Luciana Alpi said. 20 years after the death of the two reporters, the truth is still far away. RAI will remember them with a special evening on the event

“I am disgusted by this justice”, Luciana Alpi, the mother of Ilaria, told the weekly magazine Oggi referring to the RAI journalist killed in mysterious circumstances with the colleague Miran Hrovatin in 1994 in Somalia. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Government will remove state secret on death of Ilaria Alpi

The announcement was made in the House of Representatives during the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. The approval of FNSI, ASR, Article 21. Ossigeno says this is the way to clarify even other mysteries

The Undersecretary for Relations with Parliament Sesa Amici, announced in the Lower House that the government has initiated the procedures for the declassification from secrecy of documents concerning the assassination in Mogadishu of the journalist Ilaria Alpi and the television operator Milan Hrovatin. (continua a leggere in italiano)


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