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Italy. The most dangerous news by Ossigeno. April 2017

This monthly review of acts of intimidation in Italy is produced by Ossigeno per l’Informazione for the European Center for Press and Media Freedom of Leipzig (ECPMF), with the support of the European Union

Key events during the monitored period

Monitoring: verified 100 cases of probable threats, 12 deemed credible
In April 2017, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has verified 100 warnings about cases of probable threats, acts of intimidation and abuse that took place in Italy against journalists, bloggers and other media workers.

After thorough testing, the Observatory has deemed 12 credible episodes against 22 media professionals. The Observatory has documented these episodes, made them public and added the names of the threatened to its Table     of victims of serious violations of freedom of expression and the press. This table, which is available online (see) lists 3202 names, 117 of which were added during the first 120 days of 2017.

The cases of intimidation against journalists and information operators are: Luca Teolato; Matteo Spini; Corriere della Calabria newsroom; Luca Abete + cameraman; Carlo Patrignani; Gianluca Zuddas; Paolo Gianlorenzo; Fabiana Pacella, Stefano Elli; Mimmo Mazza, Giuseppe De Tommaso + Publisher; Filippo Marra Cutrupi; Dario Lapenta; Loris Mazzetti, Antonio Padellaro.

They are 18 men, 3 women and 1 n/a.

The methods of intimidation, according to the Ossigeno classification method, fall into the following types:
Abuse of legal process (2), Physical attack (2), Discrimination and arbitrary exclusion (1), Beware (1), Indictment for refusing to reveal the sources of news (1), Hackers attack (6), Threatening letter or other written threat (1), Frivolous defamation lawsuit (5), Specious civil lawsuit (3).

News: produced 93 original news
As such, Ossigeno has published in Italian 93 original news (threats&abuses, comments, the Observatory’s activities, news from international partners) including 58 in Italian, 33 in English, 1 in Spanish and 1 in German. These data were summarized in 7 weekly newsletters (4 in Italian, and 3in English). Moreover, most relevant news were forwarded by press releases.

Social network dissemination
This month Ossigeno made 118 posts, with originated 153 ‘like’ and 2.300 views on its Fb’s account. On Twitter, Ossigeno produced 93 ‘tweet’, with 32.700 views, 783 visits, 20 notices and 39 new ‘followers’.

Top Facts (Threats and more)
Three important good news about threatened journalists must be highlighted this month.

On April 4, 2017 the Criminal Court of Ragusa sentenced to one year and eight months in prison the serial lawbreaker G. Battista Ventura for threats against the journalist under police protection, Paolo Borrometi, chief editor of La Spia and collaborator of the AGI news agency. The panel of judges ruled out the aggravated formula of employing the mafia method and sentenced Ventura for attempted domestic violence – with the aggravating circumstance of recidivism – and to pay court costs. Moreover Ventura will have to pay the journalist thirty thousand euro for damages and 5,500 euro to the other civil parties (read).

The Court of Rome has established to not proceed against the journalist of the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano Loris Mazzetti and the then chief editor of the paper, Antonio Padellaro, both sued, in 2015, by Senator Maurizio Gasparri. The two were charged, respectively, of libel and omitted verification for the content of the column “Telecomando” (Remote Control), published on January 25, 2015 (read).

After three years of investigation the Court of Rome has closed a defamation case against the journalist Carlo Patrignani, sued in September 2014 by the managing director of NIE, publishing company of the newspaper L’Unità, for three articles published in 2014 in which Patrignani had criticized management decisions following the financial crisis of the newspaper, since the publishing company NIE had been put into liquidation (read).

Conversely, very differents was the decisions of other Courts: a Calabrian professional journalist, Filippo Maria Cutrupi (TM News) risks imprisonment for not having obeyed orders by judges of breaching confidentiality. In fact, the prosecutor of Taranto considered an article (about the case of an advanced international rogatory request by local magistrates to Germany for the case of the murder of Sarah Scazzi) by Cutrupi following a news leak, of which the person responsible still needs to be identified. Hence, the questioning of the journalist and the order to reveal the source of the alleged leaks. Cutrupi has refused the request to disclose its fiduciary source. Hence the charge of perjury for reticence (read).

Mimmo Mazza, a journalist of the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, was cited for damages by the legal representative of the company Riva Forni Elettrici for writing an article on a settlement request presented by the Ilva complex in Taranto. The citation also invests the chief editor of the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Giuseppe De Tomaso, and Edisud, publishing company of the newspaper. Riva’s lawyers have asked for 2 million and 200 thousand euro (read).

The freelance journalists Fabiana Pacella and Stefano Elli were indicted, following a lawsuit by the president of a bank for an article published on the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore relating to the legal proceedings in which the bank is involved. In the same lawsuit, was disputed also another article written by Pacella and published on a website (read).

Outside law courts journalists have to face other kinds of threats: on April 11, 2017, during the filming of a television service on abusive parking in Marano di Napoli, the envoy of the TV show Striscia La Notizia, Luca Abete, and his video operator were pursued and threatened by an allegedly abusive parking man who did not like the questions (read).

The weekly Corriere della Calabria reported that in the night between Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 April 2017 the emails of the newsroom and of six journalists were violated by unknown hackers who cleared the inbox and redirected incoming mail to an account the owner of which is unknown. The violation was reported to Catanzaro’s post police (read).

All the threats
Rome. Acquitted blogger sued for a photograph

Judge says no to lawsuit by senator Gasparri against Loris Mazzetti

Does not reveal the source: reporter cited for perjury

He threatened Borrometi. Titta Ventura sentenced to twenty months

Ilva. Rivas ask for 2 million to the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

Lecce. Defamation. Gip orders charges for two reporters

l’Unità. Judge dismisses lawsuit by director against reporter

Football. Atalanta coach insults reporter and cancels conference

Hacked emails of six journalists of Corriere della Calabria

Marano (Naples). Abete (Striscia la Notizia) stalked by abusive parker

Other Important News
Italy and Spain. Freedom and censorship. A deafening silence

In Spain pressure on and censorship of journalists

The “glasses” worn by Ossigeno are offered abroad

Germany. “Lying press”-claims turn in violence against media

Joan Barata, freedom of expression is decreasing

Mario De Castro: Spain needs more Oxygen for a free press

Germany. FAZ reports a judiciary case for news about Mafia

Too many journalists threatened. Now also Agcom says so

Journalists for free, service not included

Press freedom. Reporters without Borders misses again on Italy’s evaluation

Defamation. Un Human Rights Committee remembers Italy’s delays

Turkey. Gabriele Del Grande detained without legal warranties

Leggi in Italiano

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