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Charlie Hebdo. Ossigeno: Europe must strengthen the protection of journalists

The speech by the director of Ossigeno at the Belgrade conference on the protection of journalists in the OSCE area

Belgrade, March 26 – “After the attack on Charlie Hebdo there’s been in all countries a strong emotional mobilization, new anti-terrorism measures were launched, but so far there have been no concrete policy responses to the problem surfaced with the maximum urgency on January 7 in Paris: how to strengthen the protection and safety of threatened journalists because of their work, because of their right to exercise freedom of expression”, Alberto Spampinato said during the debate on this topic that took place in Belgrade during the OSCE conference and attended by William Horsley, Vice-president of the AEJ, and Serbian Professor Snjezana Milivojevic, among others.

“It is necessary to defeat impunity, promote among citizens the spirit of tolerance and the knowledge that they have the right to be informed. But above all – Spampinato added – the entire legal and legislative framework that protects freedom of expression should be strengthened at the European level. There are too many loopholes through which new forms of improper, camouflaged censorship are emerging. These holes in the legislation allow for violence and many abuses. First and foremost, it should be the European Council and the European Parliament to give these answers, calling to the discussion the thousands of journalists that, because of their work, are subject to threats or retaliation or are living under police protection. These institutions must restart the freedom of expression with energetic actions as those that the European Central Bank is implementing to restart bank lending.”

“Furthermore – Spampinato concluded – what is required is that in every country, also in the more advanced Western countries, there is an active monitoring of intimidation affecting journalists, on the model tested effectively in Italy by Ossigeno, using a method that in a few years has allowed to know the names of 2,250 journalists victims of violence and abuse because of their work.”

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