Defamation Bill. Pietro Grasso: Urgent to abolish prison sentences
The Senate President cited the data from Ossigeno: 30 journalists sentenced to 17 years in prison in 4 years
The Senate President Pietro Grasso took its cue from the dossier produced by Ossigeno per L’Informazione which lists thirty journalists sentenced to prison in Italy in the last four years to urge Parliament to quickly approve the bill that provides for the replacement of imprisonment with fines. “[The bill] has been awaited for so long -he said – that I believe that this “Godot” will be coming soon, and rightly so, even if it won’t fully satisfy the standards set by European legislation on the matter”.
“My stance on the issue of freedom of the press and protection of journalists – the president said during the press conference for the exchange of greetings before the summer break – is widely known. On many occasions I have reiterated the need to take decisive steps in the legislative field to adapt our regulatory system to the European one.” “From a preliminary survey of the “Ossigeno” Association on sentences imposed on journalists for defamation – he added – it appears that in the last four years, thirty journalists have been sentenced to prison terms totaling 17 years in prison. The data, though partial, clearly prove the urgency with which Parliament must immediately respond, by approving as soon as possible the draft law on defamation, whose gestation has so far been too long and complicated. The draft bill has just returned to the Senate after approval with modifications from the Chamber of Deputies: it has been awaited for so long that I think that this “Godot” will be coming soon, and rightly so, even if it won’t fully satisfy the standards set by European legislation on the matter”.