BAD NEWS from Italy | The Ossigeno Newsletter 12 October 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

TV journalist murdered in EU Member State Bulgaria
On Saturday 6 October 2018, Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova was murdered in the Nothern town of Ruse. Her last aired report was about an EU funds fraud investigation in Bulgaria. International attention obviously intensifies Bulgaria’s focus on the investigation. She is the third journalist killed in EU countries in the last 12 months. Read

Ossigeno celebrates Impunity Day with UNESCO on 22 October 2018 in Rome
Ossigeno will present updated figures on impunity with an international conference accredited as training course for journalists to celebrate the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) under the title “UN sos: threatened journalists. Attackers unpunished.” on 22 October 2018 at Italian Senate (9.30-13.30)- Rome. Read

Ossigeno is assisting two journalists in criminal defamation proceedings
Carlo D’Adamo and Roberto Sangiorgi have been sued for three articles about the toxic sludge stored a San Giovanni in Persiceto published in 2014 by Their legal assistance is funded by the London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative. Read

The Brioni lawsuit. The general prosecutor decides about to set it aside
The public prosecutor of the Court of Pescara, Rosaria Vecchi has asked for the lawsuit to be set aside. The plaintiffs were opposed to this and asked that the reporter be referred to trial. This case is supported through MLDI funds Read

ECPMF joint action against two arrests in Bulgaria
Journalists Dimitar Stoyanov and Attila Biro were investigating alleged corruption in EU-funded projects. Ossigeno and other partners sent a letter on 26 September to the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to express concerns. Read

Appeal for a public inquiry to investigate the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Ossigeno and other 23 international press freedom and freedom of expression organisations have signed ECPMF’s letter to Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat demanding a public inquiry into the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Read


Slovakia. 70.000 euros to kill Ján Kuciak , the prosecutor says
On Sunday, 30 September 2018, the Special Justice Court in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, ordered the detention of four suspects in the murder case of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. Three men and a woman were arrested between Thursday and Friday on the charges of executing, assisting or ordering the assassination in February 2018. Read

18 months detention for having threatened Paolo Borrometi
On Facebook he wrote that he would have eaten Borrometi’s heart. The reporter had exposed his dubious activity at the fruit and vegetable market of Vittoria. On the 28th September 2018 the Court of Ragusa handed down a sentence of one year and six months imprisonment to the man who, in 2015, on Facebook made a death threat to the journalist Paolo Borrometi, writing that he would rip out his heart, fry it and eat it Read

Mijatovic asks justice for Anna Politkovskaya
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović published on 5th October 2018 a statement on Anna Politkovskaya’s murder anniversary that reminding the authorities of the Russian Federation that they have the duty to pursue the truth and show to the public that they are taking concrete steps towards that goal. Read

Last attacks in Italy

Ossigeno has identified a further six threats – 21st September 2018
The victims are the journalist Salvo Palazzolo (Palermo), Mario De Michele (Orta di Atella), Antonella Napoli, Mauro Favale, Yara Nardi and Orianna Boselli (all of Rome). The counter for 2018 has reached 210 names. Read

Ossigeno has identified a further 3 threats – 28th September 2018
The victims are the journalists Luigi Palamara (Reggio Calabria), Agostino Pantano and the publisher editor of LaCnews24 (Palmi). The 2018 names counter has reached 213. Read

Nigerian and from Gargano mafias send death threats via FB
The sociologist and author Leonardo Palmisano had written in Corriere del Mezzogiorno an article about the prostitution business. He then received threatening messages on Facebook sent by five fake profiles. He has made a formal complaint. Solidarity has been expressed by FNSI (the Italian National Press Federation) and Assostampa (the press association). Read

Journalist beaten up while filming violent brawl among migrants
The incident happened in the railway station. “It’s my trade” says Luigi Costanzo (Il Giornale di Monza). Recovery is expected to take six days. He was rescued by the railway police. Solidarity was expressed by FNSI. Read

Investigated for vote-buying, journalist threatened via WhatsApp
The journalist Maria Teresa Carrozzo of the local TV station Canale 85 has received a threatening message on her mobile phone from one of the 48 persons being investigated by the prosecutor. The threat concerns also her children. Read 

“You’ve gone too bloody far!” he shouts gripping De Michele by the neck
In Orta di Atella two men blocked the car driven by the journalist and attacked him with iron bars. It is the fourth attack in four months. The president of the Order of Journalists Ottavio Lucarelli insisted, “He needs protection, the so-called media escort is insufficient”. Read


Mafia. Catania’s prosecutor returns the mobile phone to Salvo Palazzolo
The phone had been confiscated from him nine days before together with his archives after a judge ordered a house search. The case provoked protests and gestures of support all over Italy. Read

Mafia. The editorial empire of Ciancio impounded
Assets worth 150 million euro including the daily newspapers La Sicilia and Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, two TV stations and a print works, were all seized by the judicial commissioners. Read

Commentary : “Mario Ciancio, the newspapers, the Mafia and the pure publisher
The judicial seizure of newspapers and tv stations owned by him is an unprecedented event that raises above all a problem of employment but also of publishing formula. Read 

Outside Italy

The Guardian view on the killing of journalists: the truth in peril
The murders of reporters in the EU and fears for a Saudi columnist highlight the growing threat to those in the media. Read the editorial

“Concept of the enemy III: the violent forces are ganging up against journalists”
Violence against journalists in Germany is on the rise. Up to mid-September 2018 the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) documented and verified 22 physical attacks on 28 journalists. Last year it was five attacks. So the number of violent attacks is now close to the previous record high of 2015. Read

Harlem Désir: UK counter-terrorism bill “risks creating a chilling effect on journalistic freedom”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, wrote to the UK government to express his concerns about the impacts of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill on media freedom, which our partner Index on Censorship and others have criticised. Read 

This newsletter has been relased with the contribution of Ilaria Fevola
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