Ossigeno has decided to make them public so that other organizations can verify their validity and intervene with the necessary readiness
Ossigeno per l’Informazione is aware of many more alarms than it is able to accommodate. They are alarms that concern serious violations of freedom of expression, are reports that require an answer, a verification, an assessment in order to determine if there are victims of injustice, people who deserve solidarity and our help in order to be able to resist intimidation, threats and retaliation with which there is a will to prevent the exercise of the right to information.
In 2017 the Observatory became aware of 1131 probable attacks of this type made in Italy to the detriment of journalists, bloggers, photo reporters, video operators, commentators, opinion writers, and writers in general. Our Observatory was able to ascertain and certify 216 of these 1131 episodes, to establish that they have unjustly damaged 423 people, mostly journalists, whose names have been listed and the vicissitudes told.
To do this, Ossigeno has fully committed its observers, who have carried out many checks. Each required time and work. There was no time to check the validity of the other 911 attacks for which an alarm had occurred. It would have taken other observers, other experts, expenses incompatible with the budget of Ossigeno, an association that lives on donations and volunteer work.
So those 911 episodes were discarded without even having established if they were true or false, founded or not, if among those journalists, bloggers, photographers, video reporters, writers, researchers there was someone deserving of immediate help, support, solidarity, legal assistance. Probably some were.
This finding has posed a problem of conscience. We wondered if it was right to keep quiet about reports and requests for help that we can not deal with as they deserve, if it were the right thing to do. Or if it would be better to spread these alarms so that someone else of good will can see what they are about, and possibly bring assistance: in other words, do what Ossigeno is not able to do. We agreed that yes, it is better to do so.
Fortunately, in Italy there are other associations committed to defending freedom of the press and expression, there are trade unions and public institutions sensitive to these problems, there are newspapers busy opening their eyes to this epidemic of unjustifiable and largely unopposed attacks.
So in February 2018 we began to spread this surplus of reports. We will continue to do so periodically. We will continue to re-launch these S.O.S. with the hope that someone will listen and see what it is.
In the first half of February, we already released 56 S.O.S of this type. Our readers help us direct them better, forward them to those who, in their opinion, would be able to intervene, let us know if anyone has gone (or is going) to the rescue, and of who. We will gladly report it. As long as public institutions do not take charge of organizing this service, we will have to rely on a chain of solidarity like this to not leave without help those targeted because they dare to ask questions, disseminate information, express opinions.
ASP ONY (gt)