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Libel. “Ossigeno” to Renzi: it is not enough to remove the prison

In the Senate will take place a debate on the defamation law that offers the opportunity to introduce the amendments solicited from all over Europe

“In the next days, the Senate will vote on the second reading of the bill approved a year ago by the Chamber of Deputies to change the rules on libel replacing imprisonment with fines. The Prime Minister Matteo Renzi must commit his government to facilitate the passage of this law with some modifications needed to put Italy ahead with European standards mentioned several times by the European Court of Human Rights and various international institutions”, said Alberto Spampinato, councilor of FNSI (Italian journalistic union) and director of observatory Ossigeno per l’Informazione.

“The Senate will change for the first time in 66 years the standards of the press law and it cannot simply ratify a text that presents serious flaws and gaps highlighted by the major European institutions. It is not possible to leave rules that allow the abuse of the lawsuits and of the claims for damages against journalists. The government cannot be a passive spectator of a battle of civilization and democracy. Renzi has to consider the requests  that have been addressed in this way by several parties: by the Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, the OSCE, the rapporteur of the United Nations, by Article 19 and, most recently, by the Committee to Protect Journalist in New York. In the parliamentary process, so far the government representatives have not said anything but they take position against the necessary adjustments: without giving any reasons they gave a negative opinion on the amendments transposing European standards. The Senate reintroduces some amendments reintroduced by the Senator Felice Casson and the government has the opportunity to prove its actual orientation”.

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