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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 26th January – 1st February 2015

The last 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 – WeeklyReport 26thJanuary – 1stFebruary 2015
What happened in Italy: threatenedjournalists and obscurednews

For oneyear Ossigeno hascollected in itsweekly reports, produced with the support of the European Union, the mainnews of threats and intimidation of journalists in Italy. Now the projectisclosed, butfaced with the temptation to evaluate the resultsthereis a harshencounter with reality, which sets out clearly, once again, a trueemergency situation: that of a country in which to attack a journalistis an everyday business thatisconstantlyunderestimated. Thatsimplydoesnotmakethe news. Evenwhenithappens, thereislittlediscussionaboutit: asoccurred with regards to the intimidationsuffered by Sabrina Pignedoli, ANSA correspondent from Reggio Emilia and chronicler of the Resto del Carlino.

The ‘Aemilia’ investigation by the anti-Mafia directorate of Bologna, which led to the arrest of 160 people for’Ndranghetacrimes, havelet out a phone call that the reporter received from Domenico Mesiano, former driver for the Quaestor of Reggio Emilia, whoinsistednot to publish news on the family of Antonio Muto, among the namesthatemerged from the investigation.

From the investigationitalsocame to light the factthatcrimehastried to use the media to obtain a consensus: a journalistisindeed under investigation for collusion with the Mafia. On the matter, Claudio Fava, vice president of the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Committee, released an interview in which he gave an overview on the ability of the mafia to penetrate the healthytissue of the society, in the North asmuchas in the South, alsoinfluencing information.

The last week, however, hasgiven way also to a positive news: Lirio Abbate, correspondent for L’Espresso and first observer for Ossigeno, wasnamed by Giorgio Napolitano Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic, a fewdaysbefore he resigned from the Presidency of the Republic.

DEFAMATION – The Council of Europe hasagaincalledon our country to resume the reform, currentlystuck in Parliament, of the liebl law, decriminalizing the offense and adjusting the legislation to the Europeanstandards.

On the sametopic, the outgoingsecretary of the National Press Federation, Franco Siddi, hasalsoreleased a statement at the nationalcongress of the union in Chianciano, when he spoke of the neednot to “lower the attention” in the face of lawsagainstfreedomwhich are “alwayslurking”.

Also, during the same conference, twojournaliststhreatened with death and currently under policeprotection, Michele Albanese and Paolo Borrometi, havecalled for greaterattention by the FNSI to localrealities, where the work of the reportersisoften more difficult and dangerous.

TRIAL – The preliminary stage of the libel trial, whichsawas the defendants Xavier Jacobelli and Paolo Rosato, journalists for Quotidiano.net, wasconcluded by the court of Lanciano (Chieti province) after the chargesbroughtforward by the formergoalkeeper of the Napoli football club (nowat the Roma football club), Morgan De Sanctis. The nexthearingwill be on March 26, 2015. The parties aim to agree on a compensationresolution, closing the proceedingsthrough a remission of lawsuit.

INSULTS – On 24 December, the mayor of Padua, Massimo Bitonci (Northern League), bothered by a service of the TG5 signed by Alessandro Ongarato, insulted the latter – whilenotnaminghim – on Facebook and Twitter, callinghim a “mercenary”.

The President of the Bar Association of Florence, Sergio Paparo, attackedjournalistsduring the inauguration of the judicialyear: onJanuary 24 in hisspeech he spoke of “veryheavyattempts to influence the decision-makingautonomy of the judge.” The Order of Journalists of Tuscanyexpressed strong concernaboutthesestatements.

Emilia-Romagna. Pressures on journalistnot to publish
Sabrina Pignedoli (Resto del Carlino and ANSA) denounced the intimidationsuffered from Domenico Mesiano, accused of mafia conspiracy
Among the implications of the ‘Aemilia’ investigation by the Anti-Mafia Directorate in Bologna which led to over 160 arrestsuncovering the network of ties of the ‘Ndrangheta in Emilia-Romagna, therewerealso the attempts by the organizedcrime to use the media so as to obtain a consensus (a journalistis under investigation for collusion with the Mafia) and the story of a reporter, Sabrina Pignedoli – correspondent for ANSA from Reggio Emilia and chronicler of the Resto del Carlino in the Emilian city – whocame under pressure not to publish news. Continue reading

Claudio Fava: the hands of the Mafia reach information
The Vice President of the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Committeeannounced in an interview the intention to betterunderstand the collusionbetweencrime and information
After the “Aemilia” operationthat led to 160 arrests and 200 subpoenas in variousprovinces of the Emilia Romagna region – and whichbrought to light, amongotherthings, the threats to Sabrina Pignedoli, journalist for the Resto del Carlino – the vice president of the Anti-Mafia Committee Claudio Fava, in an interview with the editor of the Gazzetta di Reggio, provided an overview on the ability of the mafia to penetrate the healthytissue of society, in the North as in the South, alsoinfluencing information. Continue reading

Lirio Abbate appointed by Napolitano Officer of Merit of the Republic
The award to the journalist under policeprotection and repeatedly threatened by the Mafia isone of the last acts of the Head of StateBeforesigning the letter of resignation with whichonJanuary 15 he concludedhissecondtermasPresident of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano gave the journalist Lirio Abbate the honor of Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic.Continue reading

Defamation. Council of Europe to Italy: decriminalize
The Assembly recallsour country once againtoresume the reformstuck in Parliament, calling for an adaptation to Europeanstandards STRASBOURG, JANUARY 29 – The ItalianParliamentshouldresume the process of changing the libel law and decriminalize the offence and bring the legislation in line with standards set by the Council of Europe. Continue reading

Defamation: Siddi, “liberticide laws always lurking”
The outgoingsecretary of the FNSI sounded the alarm for the rules on defamation. Napolitano: journalism and union resources for institutionsWe can notafford to be complacent,liberticidelaws are alwayslurking, beginning with the libel lawbeingdiscussed by parliament. Continue reading

FNSI Congress: Think of us, twojournalists under police protection say
Michele Albanese and Paolo Borrometispoke of the risks and difficulties in the “suburbs” in whichthey live, in Calabria and SicilyFridaymorning, January 29, in Chianciano Terme, from the rostrum of the Congress of the FNSI, Michele Albanese and Paolo Borrometi, twojournalistswho in the summer of 2014 werethreatened with death and then live under guard, spoke up. Continue reading

Lawsuits. In Lanciano, to trial two sport reporters
Xavier Jacobelli and Paolo Rosato stand accused of defamation by the former Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis for a comment
The court of Lanciano (in the province of Chieti), closed the preliminary stage of the libel trial that the defendants Xavier Jacobelli and Paolo Rosato, editor and conductor of a show of Quotidiano.net. Continua reading

Padua. “Mercenary”. Mayor insults TG5 journalist who criticize shim
“In the end itis the citizenswho vote for us, and not the mercenaryjournalists”, wasposted on a social network after a report he foundunwelcome
PADUA – On 24 December, the city’smayor Massimo Bitonci (Northern League) lashed out against the TG5 journalist Alessandro Ongarato – author of a report on the decision of the mayor to cancel over 100 road fines. Continue reading

Florence. The Bar Association: “Stop the media fallout”
Complaint on “attempts to influence the decision-makingautonomy of the judge.
The Tuscan Order of Journalists: “journalismis a democraticresource, not for influencing” The President of the Bar Association of Florence attackedjournalistsduring the inauguration of the judicialyear. Continue reading


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