Arzano: “Silence” a man with a pistol orders a journalist

Giuseppe Bianco was in his car outside his house. The reporter of Il Roma was examining the possible infiltration of organised crime in the recent local elections

In Arzano, in the province of Naples, on the 24th March 2018 the journalist Giuseppe Bianco, correspondent of the daily newspaper, Il Roma, whilst he was in his car in the street in front of his house waiting for his daughter, was approached by a man on a motorbike with his face concealed by a full face crash-helmet who threatened him with a pistol and after having told him to “not talk and shut up” moved away. The man after having shown him the pistol fled on the motorbike. Bianco formally reported the incident to the police in Arzano. The national and regional order of journalists, the SUGC and the mayor expressed their support for the journalist.

“My question above all, who has to protect us?” Bianco told Ossigeno. “We are journalists in the front line and it is good if the State puts in place all the provisions to guarantee our security.”

Ossigeno had concerned itself with previous intimidations of Bianco, in 2011 (read here) and in 2014 (read here). Recently the journalist had focussed on the local government elections in his city which took place last summer. Bianco had described in his articles the five parliamentary investigations presented to the Antimafia Commission requesting checks on eventual infiltration by organised crime in the last local government elections which is why the mayor of the city had spoken to the Antimafia. Under the examination of the Commission which monitors the criminal phenomenon are the relationships between criminal clans, businessmen and politicians in the building sector and the undertaker sector; themes which the journalist has reported on in his articles in Il Roma. The municipal council of Arzano in the past has already been dissolved twice. In the latest round of elections, as reported by Bianco to Sandro Ruotolo who interviewed him for FanPage (see here), one of the mayoral candidates at the second ballot had been stopped and threatened by several individuals with their faces covered forcing him to seek refuge in the police barracks of Arzano. The journalist has also described this episode in his reporting.

The precedents in Campania: from 2011 until now in Campania, Ossigeno has identified 468 serious violations of press freedom and freedom of expression committed by acts of violence and abuse towards journalists, bloggers, video operators, photo-journalists and editors whose names are listed in the Observatory Table. In 2017 42 names have been added to this list.

RDM (wt)

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