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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – May 30th – June 5th, 2014

The eighteenth 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 May 30th – June 5th, 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news 

While intimidations against journalists and journalist activities take on new and shameless forms that have high visibility and are conveyed by the media, who becomes the target of threats and retaliation is often weakened by isolation and censorship.

In Italy it is possible that a journalist for a major newspaper suffers threats and takesrisks for reasons related to her work, to finish under police protection, and after a year continue to live in the same conditions without any newspaperspeaking about it. It happened in the Italian capital to Ms Federica Angeli, crime and legal reporter of the Roman newsroom of La Repubblica, who lives under protection on a permanent basis since 17 July 2013. In 2013Federica Angeli was threatened with death by people connected to one of the criminal clans operating like the Mafia who contend the racketeering and public tenders along the Roman coast. She then also testified on a serious act of violence of which she was a witness by chance. She is consumed by the facts, but she says she would redo exactly what she did. After Ossigenosignalled her case, the newsroom of LaRepubblica, the Order of Journalists of Lazio and the Roman Press Association have expressed solidarity, and some newspapers have reported the story.

MAFIA PROCLAMATIONS – On May 30th, during a public hearing atthe Court of Bologna, the defendant Mr Nicola Femia, accused of mafia association, continued to ask the Court not to punish him, but the journalist Mr GiovanniTizian insteadsince, in his opinion, he put him in trouble with the law with his articles that have reported his business dealings in the field of the video poker racket and its relations with characters related to the ‘Ndrangheta. The Court recalled Mr Femia for the content of the threatening statements, and forwarded the report to the prosecutor. GiovanniTizianhas been living under police protection for two years, when a phone call was intercepted in which Femia and another character complained of those articles and discussed silencingthe journalist with a pistol.

LATE CONFESSIONS – After 16 years, the former Camorra boss Antonio Iovine has confessed that in 1998, when together with the other clan leader Michele Zagaria, he phoned the journalist Carlo Pascarella, columnist for the Corriere di Caserta, he did indeed wanted to threaten him. For that episode Mr Iovine was tried and acquitted. Recently he has chosen to collaborate with justice and, among other things, told magistrates of the Anti-Mafia District Directorate of Naples that things went just as the reporter Pascarella had denounced, without being believed by the judges.

AGGRESSIONS AND EXCUSES – In Bari, a journalist from La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Mr NinniPerchiazzi, was surrounded, jostled and insulted. It happened on May 28th outside the electoral committee office of Domenico Di Paola, a mayoral candidate for the centre-right coalition. During a press conference, the mayoral candidate had just abused a journalist who Mr Perchiazzi defended. As he quitted the building, he was attacked. A TgR Puglia cameraman of RAI was prevented from filming the aggression. Subsequently, the candidate for mayor apologized for the behaviour of his supporters.

There is also who prohibits filming in public spaces. In Naples, a reporter for the TgR Campaniaof RAI, on June 2nd has not been able to film in a public and very busy tourist area of ​​the docks, the MoloBeverello, where the ferries dock. The security guards forced him to leave. The news was released by the newsroom. The President of the Order of Journalists of Campania, Mr OttavioLucarelli, announced that he had protested to the Port Authority of Naples.

MAXI COMPENSATION – Another sensational story confirms that in Italy, newspapers and journalists can be sued with limitless claims for damages. The judge of the Supreme Court Mr Antonio Esposito, who became famous for having presided over the court that condemned Berlusconi for tax fraud, claimed compensation of two million euros from the journalist Antonio Manzo, the editor of the daily Il MattinoMr Antonio Barbano and the Caltagironegroup. The magistrate is aggrieved by an interview published by the newspaper a few days before the judgment, and presented, according to him, with undue extrapolations, which made his words seem an anticipation of the verdict. Similar damageclaims have been initiated by the magistrate against the dailiesIl Giornale (€400.000), Libero (€1.5 million), Corrieredella Sera (€150.000) and Il Foglio (€120.000).

COMPLAINTS–The shower of complaints continues alsowith threatsof lawsuit, of which many are inappropriate, many othere are merely intimidating, and all are to the detriment of information workers. The footballer Diego Maradona has filed one to a prosecutor in Naples against the comedian Gene Gnocchi, for a joke during the RAI TV showLa DomenicaSportiva. Giorgio Perroni, lawyer of the former Interior Minister Mr Claudio Scajola (investigated for the non-allocation of police protection to the labour law reformer Marco Biagi, who was assassinated in Bologna on March, 19th 2002 by the New Red Brigades) has threatened legal action against the newspapers that use acts covered by the confidentiality of investigations.

FLYERS – Two people face charges of having spread in Nicosia (near Enna), in February 2013, a flyer deemed offensive against the reporter Ms Cristina Puglisi, a commissioner and a police inspector: the latter have been targeted because they are properly investigating, while the journalist has been regularly reporting said investigations for theGiornale di Sicilia. The Order of Journalists of Sicily and Assostampa of Enna have asked to enter a civil lawsuit for what has happened.

THE ANGELI CASE

– Mafia. Why is the reporter Federica Angeli under police protection in Rome
The journalist of LaRepubblica testified on a gunfight. Threatened by the clan for an investigation in Ostia, she denounced the facts. She says: I had to do it, and I would do it again.
A crime and judiciary chronicler, in service to the Rome office of La Repubblica, the journalist Federica Angelihas been living under permanent police protectionsince July 17th, 2013 due to death threats received two months earlier, in Ostia, while collecting information for her newspaper. (continua a leggere in italiano)

– Another journalist under police protection. Why? What can be done? (continua a leggere in italiano)

– Mafia. La Repubblica newsroom:two journalists and colleagues have been threatened.
With a statement, published in the newspaper on May 29th, 2014 solidarity is expressed to Ms Angeli and the other colleagues.
Enrico Bellavia is once again the target of explicit threats because of his work as a reporter who has been inquiring on the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. (continua a leggere in italiano)

– Federica Angeli: solidarity of ODG Lazio, Assostampa, Articolo21
They say: journalists are not intimidated and do not forget the duty to inform the public. Closeness was expressed also to Enrico Bellavia (continua a leggere in italiano)

Bologna trial. The accused again attacks the journalist Tizian
Nicola Femia continues to menacingly accuse the reporter under police protection. The Court recalls him and sends a report to the Public Attorney.
Mr Nicola Femia, accused in Bologna in the Black Monkey trial on charges of criminal association with the mafia, during the last hearing, once again accusedMr GiovanniTizian (a journalist under police protection for more than two years) as the cause of his troubles with the law and the “media pillory” to which he says he has been subjected to. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Camorra. After 16 years former boss admits threats to journalist
Antonio Iovine was acquitted along with Michele Zagaria for that episode. The comment by Carlo Pascarella: I had the recording but they did not believe me.
Mr Antonio Iovine has admitted that in 1998, together with Michele Zagaria, threatened on the phone the journalist CarloPascarella, at the time a reporter for IlCorriere di Caserta(continua a leggere in italiano)

Bari. Reporter attacked by supporters of mayoral candidate
NinniPerchiazzi from the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno was jostled and insulted. He defended anabused journalist. The filming of the scene prevented.
The journalist of theGazzetta del MezzogiornoMr NinniPerchiazzi was surrounded and jostled and insulted. A TG3 cameraman for the regional Puglia servicewas prevented from filming the scene. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Naples: RAI operator prevented from filming tourists boarding
The security guards of the Port Authority took him away from the MoloBeverello. The apologies after protests by newsroom staff and OdG Campania.
The newsroom of the TgRCampania of RAI announced on June 2nd that a reporter from the same outlet was prevented from filming the tourist area of ​​the MoloBeverello, in Naples. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Compensations: Judge asks four million to five newspapers
The magistrate Antonio Esposito, who condemned Berlusconi for tax fraud, accused them of having led to believe that he had anticipated the verdict to reporters.
The judge of the Supreme Court, Mr Antonio Esposito, asked with a civil suit for a compensation of€2 million from the journalist Mr Antonio Manzo, the editor of the daily Il Mattino Mr Antonio Barbano and the publishing company of the Caltagironegroup. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Satire. Maradonafiles lawsuit against Gene Gnocchi for a joke on TV
Diego Maradona has filed a lawsuit against the comedian Gene Gnocchi to prosecutor in Naples for a joke during the RAI TV show La DomenicaSportiva(continua a leggere in italiano)

Marco Biagi. Scajola’sLegals complaints to newspapers
Giorgio Perroni, legal advisor to the former Interior Minister Mr Claudio Scajola, investigated for failure to place under police protection Mr MarcoBiagi, threatened lawsuits against those “newspapers that use the acts covered by the confidentiality of investigations.” (continua a leggere in italiano)

Enna. Reporter defamed. ODG Sicily and Assostampa file lawsuit
Two people distributed offensiveleaflets against the correspondent of the Giornale di Sicilia, Ms Cristina Puglisi, and two police officials.
The Order of Journalists of Sicily and AssostampaEnna asked to carry on a civil lawsuit for defamation of the journalist Cristina Puglisi. (continua a leggere in italiano)

RR/ASP

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