BAD NEWS from Italy | Ossigeno Newsletter 20 December 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. Also included are initiatives to tackle the issue with a review from international organisations in the field of freedom of expression

Top news

Italy. The last Ossigeno’s monitoring figures
From August to October 2018, Ossigeno reported 97 serious attacks against 179 giornalists and other media operators carried out with the purpose of hindering freedom of expression. Read

The right to be forgotten closes an online newspaper
In Abruzzo the online newspaper has spent too much to defend itself from the requests to cancel some news reports and in September 2018 it has suspended publication. Read

“How did my war against the mafia begin?”
The full talk that the journalist Federica Angeli, legal affairs correspondent of the newspaper “La Repubblica” gave on the 6 November 2018, at the Italian Institute of Culture in Brussels at the presentation by journalists threatened in Belgium, France and Italy promoted by Ossigeno. Read

The five years under of police escort of Federica Angeli
In 2013, the journalist Federica Angeli, legal affairs reporter for the newspaper “La Repubblica”, began her courageous investigative journalism revealing that, in Ostia Lido, the large Roman neighbourhood on the coast where she lived with her family, there was a bloody mafia criminality that dominated and conditioned the activities of the public administration with violence and corruption. Read

The punch to Maria Grazia Mazzola also regarded as a Mafia-style offence
The Bari prosecutor charged the wife of the clan boss who attacked and threatened the RAI correspondent Maria Grazia Mazzola with personal injury aggravated by its Mafia-style method. The reporter was simply asking some questions for her article. Read

The Mafia method: the new judicial approach is strengthened
The decision of the Bari Public Prosecutor to recognise the aggravating circumstances of the woman who attacked the journalist Maria Grazia Mazzola joins the similar ones of the Rome and Catania Public Prosecutors’ Offices. Read

Naples.Three suspects under investigation for their Facebook threats to a reporterfrom Rai
Three people have been identified and are now being investigated who, in February 2018, directed insults and heavy threats on Facebook at the journalist Claudia Marra, whileshe was working for the Rai program “I fatti Vostri”. It is a case of serial haters. This was reported by thedaily newspaper “Il Mattino” on the 26th November 2018. Read

Naples. Three arrests for the attack on Brumotti
The Carabinieri of Bagnoli (Naples),coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Naples have arrested three youths for the aggression suffered by the correspondent of Striscia La Notizia, Vittorio Brumotti, and by his team on the 22nd January 2017 in the Traiano neighbourhood of Naples. Read

Last attacks in Italy

Ossigeno has ascertained another 14 threats – November 2018
The victims include Giampiero Casagni, Riccardo Arena, Paolo Borrometi (Sicily), Giuseppe Spallino, Antonio Ardizzone who is also the publisher of Il Giornale di Sicilia(Campania), Matteo Fidanza (Puglia), Giuseppe Borello, Andrea Sceresini (Lombardy), Marco Travaglio, Gaia Scacciavillani, Peter Gomez, Giordano Cardone journalist and publisher (Tuscany). Read

After 2 years, a reporter learns that she was subjected to a tracking device
The freelance journalist Rosaria Federico only discovered two years afterwards that in 2016 she had been subjected to telephone wiretaps by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Salerno and was followed by an electronic satellite device that tracked the movements of her car. The investigations werecarried out as part of a judicial investigation against unknown persons for revealing news considered as state secrets. Read

Castel Romano. A reporter attacked near a travellers’ camp
On the 22nd November 2018, near the travellers’ camp of Castel Romano (Rome), the journalist Maria Corrao, editor of the local newspaper Il Corriere della Città, was attacked with kicks and punches by two young people while trying to record with her own smartphone. She will take ten days to recover. Read

Libel. € 95 thousand in damages from “Il Fatto Quotidiano” to Tiziano Renzi
The journalist Marco Travaglio, chief editor of Il Fatto Quotodiano, the journalist Gaia Scacciavillani and the editor of the newspaper were convicted for libel by the civil court of Florence and ordered to pay 95 thousand euros as damages to Tiziano Renzi (the father of the former Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi), and to publish the sentence both on the paper and on the online edition of the publication. Read

Other threats to Paolo Borrometi for his investigative book
On October 31st 2018 the journalist Paolo Borrometi received a private message of threats on the La Spia website, the online newspaper he edits. The anonymous user congratulated the journalist for the release of his book “Un morto ogni tanto” (A death every so often), published by Solferino, and then added: “Too bad that success has costs and benefits which you may not come to enjoy”. Read

Casagni, the other reporter spied on by Montante
In addition to Attilio Bolzoni (see here), another journalist, the Sicilian Giampiero Casagni, a collaborator with the weekly Centonove, was “spied on” by the former president of Confindustria Sicilia as well as the legal compliance officer Antonello Montante. This emerged from the arrest warrant for Montante and 18 others. Read

Legal Defence

Legal defence for Cocchi sued forhis inquiry into asbestos
On 14th December 2018 the court of first instance of La Spezia will decide whether to file, as requested by the public prosecutor, the procedure for libel against freelance journalist Gabriele Cocchi, assisted in court by lawyer Andrea Di Pietro on behalf of the Legal Aid office of Ossigeno and by lawyer Sergio Busoni in partnership with the London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI). Read

Why Ossigeno is assisting Gabriele Cocchi
Oxygen for the Information has accepted the request of the freelance journalist Gabriele Cocchi to be assisted by the Free Legal Aid Office of the Observatory (see here) in the criminal trial that he faces as a consequence of the lawsuit for libel that was presented by Renato Goretta, AD of ATC, the municipal company that manages the public transport service in the city of La Spezia. Read


End Impunity. Video of the conference “Threatened journalists. Attackers unpunished” can be watched here

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This newsletter has been relased with the contribution of Ilaria Fevola
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