The new annual figures updated by Ossigeno per l’Informazione for UN International Day to end crimes against journalists.
In Italy impunity for perpetrators of intimidation, threats and abuse against journalists is still very high but in recent years it has decreased significantly. From 99% in the 2011-17 period to 96.7% in 2019. This is one of the data which was presented by Ossigeno per l’Informazione on the 25th October 2019 at the conference promoted at the Italian Senate under the patronage of UNESCO, to celebrate the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists (#IDEI 2019).
For other countries, no data on impunity is available for this type of threat. UNESCO provides a universal figure for impunity but it is relative to the impunity of those responsible for killing journalists. The rate of impunity is equal to 90% for the 1109 killed in the last twelve years.
The impunity rate provided by Ossigeno was calculated on the number of journalists and bloggers who suffered intimidation, threats and abuses in Italy and for whom the Observatory verified and certified that the journalists had acted in compliance with the law and journalistic ethics.
The 2019 data indicates an improvement of 2.4 percentage points compared to the previous year but also indicates a slight slowdown in the improvement underway from 2015 onwards, due to the effects of the campaign to publicise with facts that in Italy serious and unmotivated attacks to silence journalists who publish news discomforting to those in the power, the powerful and the criminals, are numerous and undisputed. The Ossigeno Observatory has ascertained and recorded 3965 incidents from 2006 onwards. Due also to this campaign the number of incidents reported has increased and judicial initiatives have become more numerous to identify and prosecute those responsible for these attacks, which include assaults, damage, threats, theft and other serious abuses (from discrimination that prevents access to information on vexatious and threatening lawsuits for libel and on claims for spurious damages).
Among the acts of “punishment” for those responsible not only the sentences of criminal conviction of the attackers are taken into consideration but also the initiation of proceedings against them and the libel proceedings that conclude with the dismissal of journalists and the ruling to compensate the legal costs incurred.