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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 15th-21st December 2014

The 42nd of the 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 15th-21stDecember 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news

The widely known non-profit organization that fights for freedom of expression, Reporters Sans Frontières – after OSCE and Council of Europe – is also sounding the alarm about threats against Italian journalists: it does so with the data provided by Ossigeno per L’Informazione, producing an overview certifying the serious growth of intimidation acts in 2014. And to confirm the seriousness of the problem, another millionaire request for compensation has just occurred: it is a lawsuit filed by the former vice president of Confindustria of the Monza and Brianza province, Mario Barzaghi, against the journalist FabrizioGatti (27 million) and his publisher L’Espresso (900 thousand euros), albeit following an episode dating back to 2013, when the entrepreneur had kidnapped and threatened to kill the reporter at the end of an interview. The investigation “In Brianza between the League and the clan” was not appreciated also by a mayor of the Northern League and by a captain of the Carabinieri, who are requesting compensation for another million euros.

The Italian institutions, which in different occasions have been receptive to the Ossigeno’s work, are not watching: the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano indeed held a private interview with LirioAbbate, the reporter of L’Espresso who has been living under police protection since 2007 and who has suffered a new attack on November 11th, in the centre of Rome. The President received information from the journalist about the circumstances of the serious incident and the protection provided by the police, and to express solidarity and closeness.

And because of his work in defending the freedom of the press, the freedom to report and the freedom of expression, the Senate President Pietro Grasso was appointed honorary member of Ossigeno. The announcement was made on December 19th during the meeting with parliamentary journalists for the greetings exchange of year’s end.

COMPLAINTS – The mayor of Saponara (Messina province) is suing the journalist Michele Schinella for publishing on his blog, on October 2nd, an article that revealed that the mayor had been indicted for aggravated fraud. The mayor had requested and obtained from the public prosecutor in Messina the obscuration of the article, which however was unlocked after four days. The obscuring sparked the protest of the Order of Journalists of Sicily.

The mayor of Catania, EnzoBianco, has sued a Wikipedia user, Giuseppe Torrisi, for having drafted a paragraph of the biography of the mayor in which his alleged involvement in the scandal of public funding to the Margherita party is described.

CONDEMNATION – The Civil Court of Varese condemned the then editor and four journalists of Area, a weekly of Lugano (Switzerland), to compensate with five thousand euros the association Terra Insubre and its the founder Andrea Mascetti, a member of the Northern League, after fourteen years from the publication of an article.

ARCHIVES – The magistrate of Milan Carlo De Marchi has filed for archiving an action for libel against the Mediaset journalist Enrico Fedocci, for a service aired in 2009.

The superintendent of Cosenza, Luigi Liguori, issued a DASPO order (prohibition of access to sporting events) for five years against the man who on October 25th, at the conclusion of a football match between Cosenza and Juve Stabia, attacked a journalist of a television station of the town of the Campania region, causing him some injury.

Reporters Without Borders: increase of threats against Italian journalists
Reporters Without Borders – With the help of Ossigeno per L’Informazione, Reporters Without Borders has produced an overview on the decline of the situation of journalists in Italy in 2014, a year marked by threats, physical attacks, cars burned and subpoenas for defamation. Continue reading

28 million euros in compensation asked to the journalist of L’Espresso
To sue Fabrizio Gatti is, among others, the former vice president of Confindustria Monza and Brianza, who in 2013 kidnapped and threatened to kill the reporter
Twenty-seven (27) million euros in compensation. This is the amount asked to FabrizioGatti, a journalist of L’Espresso, by Mario Barzaghi, former vice president of Confindustria Monza and Brianza, who in 2013 had kidnapped and threatened to kill the reporter after an interview. Continue reading

The President of the Republic meets Lirio Abbate
Napolitano received him after the ceremony on December 16th. Present at the QuirinaleSpampinato and Mennella, president and secretary of Ossigeno, of which Abbate is “first observer”
The President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano has had a private interview with the journalist LirioAbbate, who lives under police protection since 2007 and on 11 November, in the centre of Rome, suffered an attack while traveling by car with two bodyguards. Continue reading

Senate President Pietro Grasso honorary member of Ossigeno
The award was conferred by the sen. Sergio Zavoli, honorary president of Ossigeno. The appreciation of Grasso
For his commitment in defence of press freedom, freedom to report and freedom of expression, the Senate president, Pietro Grasso, has been named an honorary member of Ossigeno per L’Informazione. Continue reading

Mayor of Saponara (Messina province) files lawsuit, Magistrate obscures blog then backtracks. The Order: “this is censorship”
It all began on October 2nd from an article by journalist Michele Schinella. Prosecutor’s procedure quite unclear. The Order complains of a clear violation of press freedom
On 2 October 2014, the journalist Michele Schinella posted on his blog an article revealing that Nicola Venuto, mayor of Saponara (in the province of Messina) was indicted for aggravated fraud. Continue reading

The mayor of Catania Enzo Bianco files lawsuit against Wikipedia user
The complaint following the inclusion in the politician’s biography of a passage on the involvement in the Lusi case Lusi. The reply: “a way to discourage those who report”
“When I realized that I was being sued because I had written false things, I was surprised, to say the least. Let’s talk about Wikipedia, everyone knows that it is an open encyclopaedia. It was enough to press ‘edit’ and instead he chose to sue me. ” Continue reading

Defamation. Civil Court of Varese condemns Swiss journalists
The editors of the weekly Lugano Area was sued in 2000 for an article on neo-fascism. A militant of the Northern League asked for half a million euros
After fourteen years from the publication of an article, the then editor and four journalists of Area, a weekly from Lugano (Switzerland), were convicted in a civil trial to compensate with five thousand euros the association Terra Insubre and its founder (Andrea Mascetti, a member of the Northern League). Continue reading

Police error. Filed lawsuit against Mediaset journalist
The Court of Milan cites the Supreme Court on the relationship between reporting and judicial investigations. The correspondent Enrico Fedocci: “It is essential to have evidence. But it is not always enough”
A lawsuit filed by the mother of an arrested boy against a reporter of the Mediaset news service, the journalist Enrico Fedocci, was filed on December 11th by the judge for the preliminary investigation of the court of Milan Carlo Ottone De Marchi. Continue reading

Assaults a journalist, banned for five years from Cosenza football matches
It happened in October after the match with the Juve Stabia football club (from Castellammare). The journalist was working for a local TV broadcaster
On October 25th, at the conclusion of the football match between Cosenza and Juve Stabia, he attacked a journalist of a television station of the town in Campania region, causing him some injury. Continue reading

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