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Human Rights Commissioner on Lirio Abbate: italian media are vulnerable

“The silence of the State exacerbates the difficulties of journalists”. Concern also for the seizure of the movie from Piazzapulita La7 – Interview by ANSA

“The case of Lirio Abbate and PiazzaPulita are emblematic examples of the worrying structural vulnerability faced by the media in Italy” says Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, in an interview to ANSA released in Strasbourg and published on Friday, February 5, 2016

“The lack of security for journalists, the impunity for the crimes committed against them, and the political pressure on the media are a long-standing problem in the country”, he stresses. “The fact that the State remains silent on cases like these increases the difficulties that journalists face every day in doing their work, which is a critical one” the Commissioner continued.

The Italian authorities, according to Muiznieks, must take threats and violence against journalists more seriously, as well as the unwarranted pressures on the media, and ensure better protection of press freedom. Referring to the Abbate case, Muiznieks states that “providing police protection to threatened journalists is good, but not enough.”

The State, Muiznieks notes, must support the media, and evey threat to a journalist and to information “should be considered as a threat to the democratic fabric of society.”

“The highest State offices must condemn all cases of threats and violence against journalists, and the crimes committed against media workers must be prosecuted more effectively,” Muiznieks concludes. (ANSA)

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