ECPMF joint action against two arrests in Bulgaria

Journalists Dimitar Stoyanov and Attila Biro were investigating alleged corruption in EU-funded projects. Ossigeno and other partners sent a letter on 26 September to the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to express concerns

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Ossigeno – BAD NEWS from Italy | 24 September 2018

This newsletter presents originally news published by Ossigeno per l’Informazione about attacks and violations of freedom of expression and media freedom in Italy as well as in other countries. You would have noticed that our “Bad News” took a small break: we are now coming back wih our updates on press and media freedom. This and other news can now be reached out on our new website in English: We hope you will enjoy it and let us know if you like it. See you soon!

Top news

SAVE THE DATE: Ossigeno’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI)- 22 October 2018 at Italian Senate (9.30-13.30)- Rome 
Ossigeno’s has been organising in Rome Italian commemorations for IDEI since 2014, the international day that the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 proclaimed for 2 November to urge Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. This year as well Ossigeno have received the official UNESCO patronage. Guy Berger, Director of the UNESCO Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, will be our keynote speaker.

The conference is organised as part of the 2018 ECPMF (European Center for Press and Media Freedom) project, in partnership with the National Association of Journalists (Ordine dei giornalisti). During the event, Ossigeno will provide the audience with updated data on impunity for crimes against journalists. The event aims at raising awareness and advocate public authorities to create a public agency in charge of the monitoring on attacks to journalists and to implement safety measures to follow up on the monitoring creating a national platform running as the one operated by the Council of Europe. We will also urge the Parliament to decriminalise defamation.
More details as well as the agenda will be published soon on our website. Stay tuned!

Memory and updates on impunity for crimes against journalists 
Justice for Andrea Rocchelli. A fresh postponement of the trial in Pavia
Ossigeno is giving special coverage to the follow up investigations into the murder of photoreporter Andrea Rocchelli, an Italian journalist brutally killed in Ukraine along with his colleague Andrej Mironov on 24 May 2014 whilst preparing a reportage to document the suffering of the civilian population of Donbass because of the clashes between the pro-Russian separatists and the army of Kiev. The first hearing was held on 14 September 2018. Ossigeno will cover the criminal proceedings and publish detailed reports for each hearing. Ossigeno has decided to do such covering as it realised media were not interested in covering the trial. The reporting is garanted in cooperation with other italian organisations. (read the first hearing’s report and spread it)

The Court: a public service was interrupted by an attack on a TV journalist
The court of Foggia  had begun proceedings against Filippo Trotta, a man who was responsible for a serious attack on the freelance journalist Nello Trocchia and the videocamerman Riccardo Cremona while they were broadcasting for Nemo (RAI2). The court has charged the attacker in addition to bodily harm, with the offence of interrupting a public service applying article 340 of the penal code. In the context of the offence, the prosecutor’s decision has been the first one in Italy of such kind. Read

Syracuse: A sentence of two years and eight months for the threats to Borrometi
The court of Syracuse sentenced Francesco De Carolis to 2 years and 8 months of imprisonment for violence towards the journalist Paolo Borrometi editor of and collaborator with press agency Agi. This time around, the attacker of a journalist has been tried and sentenced. This rarely happens as borne out by Ossigeno’s statistics which show a level of impunity of 99%. Moreover the court also took into account the mafia method of intimidation. Also this is a recent novelty and reveals a more rigorous attitude of the judiciary for the defense of freedom of information and media operators. Read

Last attacks in Italy

Ossigeno has identified and certified further 12 threats – 14th September 2018
Victims include the journalists Mimmo Rubio, Mario De Michele, Maria Teresa Carrozzo, Luigi Costanzo and Sara Lucaroni with other editorial staff of Avvenire, the blogger Mario Abenante and the author Leonardo Palmisano. Read

In depth articles of Ossigeno: The Attilio Bolzoni Case
Ossigeno is dedicating in depth articles to journalist of La Repubblica Attilio Bolzoni who, after his scoop about the ex-president of “Confindustria Sicily” (the regional branch of the Confederation of Italian Industries) Antonello Montante, has been victim of threats, retaliation and stalking. Read

A reporter from il Mattino subject to searches and confiscation of her computer, both at home and in her office in Padua
Cristina Genesin is accused of violation of investigation secret, and the director and deputy-director accused of a failure to control. She had photographed the son of the Mafia boss Toto Riina in a bar in Padua whilst he was secretely meeting several individuals among whom someone with previous convictions. Read

Sea Watch 3 Police obtain a copy of the reporters’ film on migrant rescue
The mobile police squad of Reggio Calabria insisted on the copy on the instruction of the Prosecutor – a practice at the limit of correctness. Read

Last updates
Latest news from Cagliari, Naples, Brescia, T.Imerese. Read
In these cities, courts have issued important decisions on cases we had previously reported on. These are important updates in the light of fighting against impunity for attacks against journalists in Italy.

About Italy

Seizure in Palermo. OSCE asks Italy to clarify about its lawfulness
The Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir immediately reacted over the news on the seizure of journalist Salvo Palazzolo of La Repubblica’s mobile and computer by sending a formal inquiry to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi. Read

EFJ/IFJ. In Italy escalation of attacks against the press
The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have raised their concerns over the repetitive attacks and acts of intimidation against journalists in Italy at the end of July. They stand in solidarity with their Italian affiliate, the Federazione Nazionale Della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), and the Italian journalists who are experiencing those threats. Read

This newsletter has been relased with the contribution of Ilaria Fevola
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In depth articles of Ossigeno: The Attilio Bolzoni Case

Ossigeno is dedicating an in depth article to the journalist of La Repubblica Attilio Bolzoni who, after his scoop about the ex-president of “Confindustria Sicily” (the regional branch of the Confederation of Italian Industries) Antonello Montante, has been the victim of threats, retaliation and stalking. Read more

They have isolated me, Bolzoni had told the Anti-Mafia

On the 2nd February 2016 a year after the publication of the scoop which had revealed that the industrialist Antonello Montante was under judicial investigation for Mafia activity, the journalist Attilio Bolzoni spoke at a hearing of the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission chaired by the Hon. Read more

“Shame” said Bolzoni after the arrest of Montante

On the 20th May 2018, on Radio CL1 (see here) a radio station of Caltanissetta, the journalist Attilio Bolzoni said, “Already three years ago, when I began to concern myself with the Montante Affair, I realised that it was a dirty foul-smelling story. And according to me it still wasn’t finished … certainly what developed is a very foul-smelling picture. I don’t focus only on the judicial aspect because there are magistrates who have to identify offences, prove them. What makes a greater impression upon me is the human aspect of the affair, the resignation and the cowardice of several individuals subjected to the system. There are things even bigger than the offences.” Read more

The Bolzoni Case: An exemplary story which encapsulates all the problems

Various clues suggested that in Sicily, among the big white knights of the anti-Mafia there were profiteers and swindlers, individuals and organisations respected and revered for their public commitment in favour of law abidance, who secretly commercially exploited their image and their influence to obtain finance and tenders, to build a career, to exchange favours with political figures and with business and organised crime. Read more