The police special branch, Digos, is investigating a self-styled anti-vaccination group that is attacking journalists, government officials, virologists and politicians in Alto Adige. A tense atmosphere prevails in the newspaper’s offices
OSSIGENO 17th March 2022 – An envelope containing death threats and an unexploded calibre 9 bullet was delivered on January 19th 2022 to the editorial offices of the daily newspaper ‘Alto Adige’, which is based in Bolzano, It came from a self-styled anti-vaccine group that signs itself “We are the people”. The threats are aimed at the editorial staff, the national Draghi government, virologists and local politicians.
“If this announcement is not taken into consideration, many of you and your family will not live for long”, is written among other things in the letter to the editor (see here) in an ungrammatical text, probably to lay a false trail. The police’s forensic staff commented on the letter (see here).
The editor of the newspaper, the journalist Alberto Faustini, declared: “We will continue our work more than ever. Without being intimidated. Without bending. But we will watch our backs, since there are those who are trying to strike us “. The incident was reported to Digos.
THE EDITORIAL STAFF – Ossigeno contacted the editor-in-chief of “Alto Adige”, Luca Fregona, who described the climate of tension in which his colleagues at the newspaper have recently been working. “For months we have been receiving all kinds of intimidation, including death threats. We reported the situation to Digos and denounced the constant threatening emails clearly of local origin that clog our mailbox. But this is the first time we have received an envelope with a bullet. In Alto Adige the No-vax movement is rooted in the local culture with the protest linked to the character of those who live in the valleys. The nucleus of the attacks must be sought in those localities which are close-knit and look with suspicion at science, the state, and authority”.
Other envelopes with bullets were sent to the president of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Maurizio Fugatti, and to the president of the Province of Bolzano, Arno Kompatscher.
SOLIDARITY – Ossigeno per l’Informazione expresses solidarity with the journalists of “Alto Adige”, sharing their decision to formally denounce the threats and intimidation, as it is always proper to do so. Ossigeno hopes that the perpetrators of the attacks are identified soon and brought before a judge, because impunity encourages the perpetrators of these actions.
There were numerous expressions of solidarity. FNSI, the Trentino Alto Adige Journalists’ Union, Assostampa of Bolzano and Trento and the regional Order of Journalists all defined this intimidation as a “reckless gesture”. “A terrorist act. Identify and report those responsible” they wrote in a joint statement.