An anonymous e-mail warned: an attack on her and police escort who protects her since 2017 is imminent
OSSIGENO 5th September 2023 – At the end of August 2023, Marilena Natale, a reporter from Caserta who has been living in Aversa about 25 kms north of Naples since 2017 under police guard due to death threats from the Camorra crime syndicate, received a new death threat in the form of a warning considered credible by the police.
The District Anti-Mafia Directorate at the Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident. The reporter has received numerous expressions of solidarity including that of Ossigeno per l’Informazione. Solidarity was also expressed by the Union of Journalists in Campania (Sugc), by the National Federation of the Italian Press (Fnsi) and by Articolo21,an Italian association defending press freedom.
THE INCIDENT – An anonymous individual sent an email to Marilena Natale announcing that an attack with assault weapons against her and against the police who protect her was in an advanced stage of preparation. It was being organized by some members of the Casalesi Camorra clan which the journalist has often reported on in denouncing its criminal activities and the strong pressure it exerts in Casal di Principe and in the surrounding area of Caserta and North Naples.
The text, handwritten in capital letters, implies the instigators and perpetrators and states that the attack has not yet been carried out only due to organizational difficulties , according to the anonymous individual. The reason for the planned “execution” would be the journalistic attention towards the family of the clan boss Francesco Schiavone, known as ‘Sandokan’ who is serving a life sentence in prison. The very first serious threats received by the reporter were attributed to Sandokan himself. One of ‘Sandokan’s’ sons is also in prison but could be released soon.
MARILENA NATALE appreciates the solidarity and closeness that Ossigeno has always shown her, since the time of the first threats that forced her to live under police protection (read here). When contacted by Ossigeno she said that in view of the on-going investigations she deemed it inappropriate to make comments or statements.
Ossigeno encourages Marilena to resist with the same courage and determination shown in recent years, expresses solidarity with the members of the police escort and asks those responsible for public order to adequately strengthen further the protective system with which they protect her and other journalists who, in the same area, have suffered serious threats for having exercised their freedom to report on facts of public interest.
IN CAMPANIA – The case of Marilena Natale is not an isolated one. From January to June 2023, Ossigeno identified threats and intimidation against 14 journalists and media workers in Campania. In 2012 it reported 580. The counter of threatened journalists in Italy, begun by Ossigeno in 2006, reached 6774 on June 30th 2023. The names are in the List of those threatened which can be consulted online.