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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – April 4th – 10th, 2014

The tenth 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 April 4th – 10th, 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news.

Intimidations, lawsuits, physical attacks and insults. This week too did Ossigeno per l’Informazione receive on a daily basis new intimidations against journalists and bloggers, obstacles against reporting which find little space in the media and disregard by the authorities.

Basilicata24.it, an online magazine, continues to be targeted by dark and disturbing threats, as has been going on for months: a few days ago a journalist found on the windshield of his car a road map on which was marked a cross path that the journalist would have followed a few days later to attend an event. And after forty-eight hours, next to the car of the journalist and newspaper editor Ms Giusy Cavallo, a bonfire was lit. Furthermore, the mayor of a nearby town, Tito (in the Potenza province) has sued the newspaper for libel and false alarm for the publication of a video service that raised the suspicion that there may be carcinogens in the municipal water supply.

The impatience of politicians with the information disseminated by the press has manifested itself in various episodes.

The weekly magazine L’Espresso and its correspondent, Mr Lirio Abbate, are being sued by the MP Ms Ilaria Capua, member of the Civic Choice party and a virologist, for reporting in an article that she would have been involved in an investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office of Rome.

The Movement 5 Stars continues in its media pillory for the public’s contempt of those journalists who express critical and unwelcome opinions, in its blog’s column “Journalist of the day”. The co-founder of the Movement, Gianroberto Casaleggio, also announced a lawsuit against the journalists, which he called “professional mudslingers” because they would be collecting information on his account for the publication of a dossier. A pre-emptive lawsuit, of which the mayor of Verona has given an example already.

The Forza Italia MP Ms Mariastella Gelmini asked to “violently” identify a journalist that, during a press conference in Milan, was recording her while she was talking with the director of the same political party, Mr Giovanni Toti. The story was published by the online daily repubblica.it, which posted the video and transcript of the scene.

The journalist Maurizio Bonanno (Calabria TV) was pushed away forcefully by the bodyguards of the Minister for Regional Affairs, Ms Carmela Lanzetta, whom he had approached to ask a question at the conclusion of a conference.

VERBAL AND PHYSICAL AGGRESSIONS – Numerous episodes that reveal the intolerance for journalists and their activity by citizens.

In Florence, during a press conference in an abandoned hotel but occupied by squatters, some journalists have been verbally attacked. A dozen people in the group of occupants has targeted them by throwing trash bags.

In Treviso, the correspondent of the TV programme Servizio Pubblico, Ms Viviana Morreale, while waiting to go on air live from the middle of a public square, was publicly insulted by some people who were demonstrating solidarity to the protesters for the independence of Veneto who were arrested on April 2nd. Racial slurs were directed at her because of her dark complexion and her Sicilian origin.

SPORTS – In Verona new tensions and controversies between the team Chievo Calcio (Serie A) and the local newspaper L’Arena. After the publication of an article in which the existence of an agreement was vented between the sports club and Hellas Verona (the other team in the city) for the setting of the prices of the tickets to enter the stadium and watch the season matches between the two teams. Piqued, Chievo will not be releasing any more interviews with L’Arena and other news oultets of the same publishing group Athesis, of which the daily is a part of.

CRIMES OF OPINION – The crimes of opinion and contempt, although culturally out-dated, continue to be pursued as a result of laws that are unable to be repealed. The editor of the newspaper Il Giornale d’Italia and former senator Mr Francesco Storace is on trial for “insulting the honour and prestige of the President of the Republic” for having written on his newspaper, in October 2007, phrases to which the Head of State has not reacted legally, but which have been deemed offensive nonetheless by the judges. He risks five years in prison.

Basilicata24.it: new acts of intimidation against the newsroom

The online newspaper from Basilicata is still the target of threats: two new episodes in just a few days. “It looks like a tension strategy” the editor says.

A road map with a cross drawn on it and a bonfire besides the car of the editor Giusy Cavallo are the last episodes of threats suffered by the staff of the newspaper online Basilicata24.it, which has been repeatedly targeted in the recent past by disturbing intimidations. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Basilicata24.it sued by mayor of Tito (PZ)

The complaint came after the publication of a video report on alleged carcinogenic substances contained in the tap water of the Lucan town.

The mayor of Tito (in the Potenza province) Mr Pasquale Scavone sued for libel and false alarm the online newspaper Basilicata24.it, for the information contained in a video posted on April 3rd on alleged carcinogenic substances contained in the tap water of some houses of the town. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Capua (Scelta Civica) against the L’Espresso

The scientist and MP announces a lawsuit after an article from Lirio Abbate in the weekly talks about her involvement in a judicial inquiry.

Ilaria Capua, a member of the Civic Choice party and an internationally renowned virologist, has announced on April 4th to have instructed her lawyers to sue L’Espresso and the journalist Lirio Abbate, author of an exclusive scoop published in the latest issue of the magazine in which he recounts the scientist’s involvement in an investigation by the prosecutor’s office of Rome. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Zucconi in Grillo’s sights, Casaleggio threatens complaints.

Journalists at the pillory on the blog of the former comedian, while the founder of the M5S takes issue with the “professional mudslingers”.

Vittorio Zucconi, editor of repubblica.it, has ended up in the ‘black list’ of the blog of Beppe Grillo, and has become involuntary protagonist of the column “Journalist of the day”. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Gelmini to Toti: “Let’s get data on that reporter”

Roberta Rei (La Repubblica) was filming the two politicians with her camera. Solidarity with the reporter was expressed by the Secretary of the FNSI, Franco Siddi.

On April 5th, during a press conference with the local councillors at Palazzo Marino in Milan, the camera of the journalist from La Repubblica Roberta Rei captured an off-air between the Mariastella Gelmini, and political advisor of Forza Italia, Giovanni Toti, in which the former, irritated by the lens fixed on them, said to the latter: “that one there, with the video camera. Let’s get the data. Violently.” (continua a leggere in italiano)

Calabria. Minister Lanzetta’s bodyguards attack reporter

Maurizio Bonanno from Calabria TV was pushed away violently. Solidarity by the Order and the Union: “freedom of information almost at and end”.

The bodyguards of the Minister for Regional Affairs Ms Carmela Lanzetta pushed the journalist Maurizio Bonanno, for the WebTV channel CalabriaTV, out of the way and forcefully on the afternoon of March 29th during a conference on organized sports in a school of Vibo Valentia. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Florence. Hotel squatters threaten journalists

During a press conference a few reporters were assaulted verbally and by garbage bags thrown at them.

Insults, pushing, attempts to drop the camera and the launch of garbage bags against journalists. Moments of tension in Florence on March 28th between a dozen occupants of a disused hotel in Via Gori and reporters from local TV stations and websites arrived at a press conference together with the owners of the property, the regional adviser of the Fratelli d’Italia party, Mr Giovanni Donzelli. (read more)

Treviso. Protesters insult troupe of Servizio Pubblico

“Nigger”, “dirty southerners”, “parasites”, “you should be ashamed”. The protesters for the independence of Veneto shouted in the square on April 3rd against the journalists of the TV programme by Michele Santoro.

“Nigger, dirty southerner, go back to your home.” In such a way was Viviana Morreale, Sicilian journalist for Servizio Pubblico, insulted by Venetian separatists during the off-air broadcast from the central square of Treviso, on April 3rd. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Football. Chievo no longer speaks with reporters from Athesis group

The club ended communications with journalists after an article on L’Arena. Solidarity from the Order and the Union. “The news was false” was the club’s reply.

The Football club has decided not to release any more interviews to the local newspapers of the publishing group Athesis, after the newspaper L’Arena published an article on March 21st in which it hypothesized the existence of an agreement between the club and Hellas Verona (the other team in the city) on the price of tickets for the matches of the Serie A between the two teams. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Insults the President of the Republic: Storace goes to court

The journalist and politician, leader of The Right part, is on trial since 2007 for phrases addressed to the Head of State, and for which he then apologized.

The editor of the daily Il Giornale d’Italia and former senator Francesco Storace is on trial for “insulting the honour and prestige of the President of the Republic.” He risks up to five years in prison. (continua a leggere in italiano)

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