Bad News from Italy – From 2nd to 10th  November 2023

Periodic review of news published by Ossigeno per l’Informazione, an observatory on intimidation and threats to journalists and suppressed news in Italy

OSSIGENO 11 NOVEMBER 2023 – This week Ossigeno talked about: Francesco Pesante, Ario Gervasutti, Leandro Salvia, Marina Castellaneta, Cristina Autore, Manuel Parlato

A full week for Ossigeno, which reported 3 attacks on journalists engaged in reporting in Messina, Verona, and Rome. These episodes show that the appeal made on the 2nd November by UNESCO (read here/), for every government to strengthen the guarantees and protection of journalists in certain working conditions, is very pertinent. Undoubtedly in Italy stronger protections are needed during public demonstrations (see the episode in Messina), inside football stadiums (see the one in Verona), in the streets and in other public places while journalists are documenting what happens with photos and videos. And we need to prosecute more and more effectively those who threaten or attack journalists, in order to reduce an almost absolute impunity (92% in 2022).

Among other things, in recent days a new ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has reaffirmed the full right to film scenes of public interest and publish them, even if they show police officers engaged in public order tasks. This right exists whenever the images are of public interest.

Other news concerns spurious lawsuits. Ossigeno offers two testimonies from reporters who reacted to such lawsuits: the Sicilian journalist Leandro Salvia sued for defamation who, once acquitted, countersued his accuser for slander and the Apulian journalist Francesco Pesant, who opposed his conviction for defamation with a criminal decree (i.e. without trial) and asked to defend himself in a trial. The Ossigeno Legal Desk is helping both. By the way, these two stories take place in municipalities that have been dissolved due to mafia infiltration.

On the massacre in Gaza, highlights the heartfelt appeal made to the United Nations by the International Journalists’ Union IFJ, (read here) to stop the unprecedented massacre of journalists that is taking place, with many Palestinians  and Israelis killed .

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