To cover the expenses of the lawyers who assist with free voluntary services (pro bono) or at special conditions the reporters subject to vexatious lawsuits. Oxygen for Information has set up a bonus in favour of reporters sued vexatiously in order to extend the coverage of its Free Legal Aid Office to those reporters sued (or sued in civil proceedings) speciously for libel and assisted in court by a trusted lawyer who offers a voluntary and free service (pro bono) or with particular conditions evaluated case by case. The purpose is to help journalists, bloggers, photojournalists, film makers to bear all or part of court costs (for example, for the production of documents, injunctions, travel expenses, etc.).
Journalists who find themselves in this situation and if they meet the eligibility requirements set by the Ossigeno-MLDI Legal Aid Office, can request the bonus by sending a request to this e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed instructions. The bonus will be paid directly to the lawyer.
Ossigeno NGO and the English charity MLDI have decided to extend the assistance to these reporters to help them deal with real problems that weigh heavily on their personal budget and therefore make the complaints and spurious, unfounded civil disputes presented for intimidating purposes all the more constraining.
The bonus is reserved for those who are not legally protected by their publisher and do not receive assistance from other organizations. Privileged access is given to judicial matters considered of strategic importance in order to demonstrate how the current Italian legislation is unfair to journalists and how easy it is to use the machinery of justice for the purpose of intimidation, retaliation or censorship.