An international criminal court to ascertain responsibility for the killing of journalists
The proposal of the Ossigeno Observatory comes from a study on the story of Andrea Rocchelli, killed in Ukraine in 2014
OSSIGENO June 9th 2022 – Journalism in war zones “is like jumping into a ring of fire”. This is what the President of Ossigeno per l’Informazione, Alberto Spampinato, said, opening the conference “War, peace, information – The risks of journalists. The case of Ukraine”, at the Casa del Jazz in Rome.
Ossigeno‘s mission is to “create the conditions that allow journalists to do their work freely and safely – he continues – without suffering retaliation, threats, and intimidation. Often reporters run risks from their location and for the inconvenient information they handle , even when that information is true, topical and of public interest but has the “defect” of being unwelcome to some powerful individual who has the capacity to retaliate and influence. “.
To illustrate how difficult it is to identify and punish those responsible for the death of a journalist, Spampinato cites the case of the Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli, who was killed in the Donbass in 2014. The Italian justice system has not been able to shed full light on his death. “This legal case strengthens the proposal according to which an autonomous and independent international court should be invested in all cases in which journalists are killed, to ascertain the truth, to avoid an established practice whereby some form of reason of state prevails in explaining a mortal incident and puts a lid on it without sentencing anyone. In our opinion, this proposal deserves to be discussed and elaborated upon in depth “.
“Journalism – underlines the President of Ossigeno – is a powerful weapon; it does not shoot but has an impact on reality, on the unfolding of events. Therefore, whoever disseminates news in the name of public interest and truth always runs the risk of disturbing someone’s interests and arousing disproportionate and excessive reactions. We at Ossigeno have always sided with those who, despite having respected the ethical standards of their profession, suffer threats and retaliation, or even risk their lives to let us know what is happening around us, not only in war zones.”
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