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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 24th – 30th November2014

The 39th of 48 weekly reports created with the support of the European Union and disseminated in eleven countries to promote a common awareness 

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report 24-30 November 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news

In Europe it has been attested by major institutions for a long time now: threats and intimidation on media workers do not simply occur every day, but actually represent a real emergency. This is why the Council of Europe, together with the help of five international organizations involved in the defence of freedom of information – International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), European Federation of Journalists, the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) and Article 19 – has realized a web platform for promptly mapping threats against the media and evaluate the appropriate forms of intervention. The platform will be officially announced on the December 4th at a conference at the French Senate in Paris. Ossigeno per l’Informazione is among the associations involved in the provision of reports from Italy.

The Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks also expressed concern on the alarming spread of episodes that limit the freedom of the press in the continent: in a speech, contained in the recent annual report of the Regent’s University of London entitled “Transatlantic Relations: A European Perspective “, he cited data on threatened journalists in Italy published by Ossigeno. The vice president of the Anti-Mafia Commission Claudio Fava recalled recently, during a public meeting, that Italy is the country of the European Union with the highest number of threatened journalists, and confirmed the commitment of the Commission in this regard.

Following are the key facts recounted in the past week by Ossigeno.

THREATS – on November 29th unknown persons set the car of PinoManiàci on fire. Maniàci is the editor of Telejato, a local TV from Partinico (in the province of Palermo). The incident was reported to the police.

On November 24th the daily Il Giornale reported the news of a writing appeared on a wall in via Cinquecento in Milan, which spelled out the name of a reporter followed by the words “its your turn”. The writing has appeared as a result of tensions for the evictions of public housing illegally occupied in the Corvetto district, in the south-east of the city.

On Wikipedia, in the description of the reporter Luca Abete from the TV show Striscia la Notizia, it appeared the information that he “was killed by the Camorra on December 8th, 2014 because he was too bothersome”. The journalist has covered the issue of property confiscated from the mafia in the municipality of Castelvolturno (in the province of Caserta).

HACKER ATTACK – In the night between October 14th and 15th, the website of the online newspaper of inquiry www.iltaccoditalia.info based in Casarano (in the province of Lecce) suffered a cyber attack that seriously damaged it. Since then, the editorial staff has not been able to enter updates, and therefore publications have had to be suspended.

LAWSUITS AND JUDICIAL INVESTIGATIONS – The mayor of Padua Massimo Bitonci has sued the editor of the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.it Peter Gomez and the Senator Laura Puppato, author of a post written on her blog hosted by the online news portal of the daily.

The journalist Fabio Amendolara of the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno is under investigation by prosecutors in Salerno for having handled stolen property, as stated in the notice of closure of the investigation, “so as to make a profit for himself”. He had obtained acts of criminal proceedings concerning the mysterious death of Elisa Claps.

UPDATE – The court case that has seen NelloRega, journalist for RaiTelevideo, investigated and then prosecuted for simulation of crime in 2011, is not over yet. Rega was indicted in 2013. The journalist had reported gunshots against his car, on which he was traveling alone, in the night of January 7th, 2011.

Threatened journalists. The platform of the Council of Europe arrives
It will be presented on December 4th in Paris. It will serve to meet the most severe cases and react quickly. Ossigeno will be involved in the supply of information from Italy.
On December 4th, the Council of Europe will present an initiative designed to ascertain quickly the threats against journalists and urge an immediate intervention from the national competent authorities. The “Internet platform” aims precisely at ensuring a rapid response against attacks against journalists and the free flow of information. (Continue reading)

Alarm from Muižnieks. Must defend freedom of the press in Europe
The Commissioner for Human Rights cites data from Ossigeno and calls for protection of journalists in a speech at the presentation of the annual report of the Regent’s University of London.
The Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, cited data on threatened journalists in Italy published by Ossigeno per l’Informazione in his speech on the “alarming situation of press freedom in Europe”, contained in the recent presentation of the annual report of Regent’s University of London entitled “Transatlantic Relations: A European Perspective”. (Continue reading)

Claudio Fava: “Italy is the country in Europe with the most threatened journalists”
The Vice President of the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission speaks of the hearings in progress on mafia, journalists and media world.
The vice president of the Anti-Mafia Commission, Claudio Fava, on Thursday, November 19th during the hearing with Alessandro Barbano, editor of the newspaper Il Mattino, and Antonio Polito, editor of the daily Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno, at the working committee of the Parliamentary Commission which is investigating on the matter, said that Italy is the country that has the highest number of threatened journalists in the European Union. (Continue reading)

Partinico (Palermo province).PinoManiàci’s car burned
It was announced by the website Telejato. Carabinieri are working to identify who has set the fire. Solidarity from Ossigeno
PinoManiàci, editor of Telejato, a local TV channel from Partinico (in the province of Palermo), had his car set on fire by unknown assailants in the afternoon of November 29th. This was announced by the broadcaster’s website. The incident was reported to the police. (Continue reading)

Milan. Occupations in the Corvetto district, writing with threats against journalist
On a wall of via Cinquecento appeared the name of a reporter followed by the words “it’s your turn”. In the district tensions are flying high due to evictions of abusive tenants
The daily Il Giornale reported the news on November 24th. After Ossigeno contacted him, the threatened reporter said not to want to report the incident to avoid fuelling tensions further. (Continue reading)

Striscia La Notizia. Date of death for Luca Abeteappears on Wikipedia
He had produced a report on the assets confiscated from the Camorra in Caserta. Solidarity and concern by the editorial board.
“He was killed by the Camorra on December 8, 2014 because too uncomfortable”: this macabre information appeared on Wikipedia under the voice “Luca Abete” and was announced by the crew of the TV show Striscia la Notizia on November 20th, shortly after the airing of a service in which the journalist had addressed the issue of property confiscated from the Camorra in the municipality of Castelvolturno (in the province of Caserta). (Continue reading)

Salento. The Il Tacco d’Italia blocked from a month by hacker attack
The small online newspaper from the Salento region (also known as “the heel of italy”, or iltaccod’italia) suffered the attack just as it was under fire of accusations and lawsuits for its courageous investigations In the night between October 14th and 15th, the website of the daily online paper of inquiry www.iltaccoditalia.info, based in Casarano (in the province of Lecce) suffered a cyber attack that seriously damaged it. Since then, the editorial staff has not been able to insert updates and therefore the newspaper has suspended publications. (Continue reading)

Ossigeno: Lets hear the voice of Il Tacco d’Italia once again
Lets not allow a hacker attack to silence this critical voice in the Salento region. The solidarity from Ossigeno
It is hard to imagine information in Salento without the voice of Il Taccod’Italia, is which is missing since October 14th following an intrusion that has damaged the website, an attack on which the judiciary is still investigating. (Continue reading)

Padua, Mayor files lawsuit against Il FattoQuotidiano and Laura Puppato
Massimo Bitonci did not like a post published by the Democratic Party Senator on her blog, hosted by the website of the newspaper
The mayor of Padua Massimo Bitonci sued the editor of Il Fatto Quotidiano.it Peter Gomez and the Senator Laura Puppato, author of a post written on her blog hosted by the online magazine. (Continue reading)

Claps murder. The journalist Amendolara under investigation for receiving stolen goods
He received a notice of investigation for the publication of a memo. He comments: like this the profession becomes an illicit trade
The prosecutor of Salerno is investigating for receiving stolen goods a journalist, Fabio Amendolara of the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, since, as stated in the notice of closure of the investigation, he had received acts of the criminal proceedings on the mysterious death of Elisa Claps “in order to make a profit for himself”. (Continue reading)

Nello Rega. After three years still accused of simulation of crime
He denounced an assault on his car in 2011. The journalist of Televideo: “I hope that the judges will find a conclusion soon.”The next hearing will be in April.
The court case that since 2011 has seen NelloRega, journalist of RaiTelevideo, investigated and then prosecuted for simulation of crime is not over yet. Rega was indicted in 2013. (Continue reading)

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