The journalist was attending the police operation together with other journalists. Her police escort considered it prudent to move her away. “They don’t scare me” she said. On the 4th October 2018 in Ostia (Rome) during the forced eviction from public housing, illegally occupied, by Vincenzo Spada, nephew of the gang boss Carmine Spada, the journalist Federica Angeli, editor of La Repubblica, has been threateningly insulted by four women belonging to the same family.
“Bastard, disgusting pimp. You have to clear off from here”, they shouted trying to approach her who, like the other journalists was behind a barrier indicated by the police with tape. She was taking photographs with her mobile phone. The police formed a shield to protect her and her police escort helped her to rapidly get away.
Among the women who tried to attack her were the wife and the sister-in-law of another Spada, Ottavio incarcerated on a hard prison regime. Both of them have been charged with threats by the local police.
The attack has been recorded by a video published on the Repubblica.it website (see here) in which the women also dispute with the police escort assigned to the reporter.
Federica Angeli stated, “I went away not from fear but because I didn’t want to complicate the delicate work of the police. The fact remains that I was prevented from continuing to do my job.”
Also other journalists were targeted with insults but none as much as Federica Angeli to whom the relatives of the gang boss attributed her, as though it were a fault, with being the first to highlight publicly the activities of the Spada clan.
In an article published today in the daily newspaper La Repubblica, Angeli writes, “Yesterday’s eviction is the first of a series of interventions against illegal occupation of public housing by the most powerful clan in Ostia, substantially cut down in size in January by 32 arrests for Mafia”.
After this episode the Italian National Press Federation spoke of “an emergency” and of the necessity to take “extraordinary measures”. The minister of the interior Matteo Salvini also expressed solidarity with the journalist. Solidarity on Twitter has been expressed by the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi and by the president of the Lazio region, Nicola Zingaretti.
Federica Angeli has been living with a police escort since the 17th July 2013 for having testified about what she had seen from her balcony in Ostia when she was an eye-witness of a shoot-out between members of the Ostia clan. In May 2013 Angeli was threatened by Armando Spada who shut her up in a room of the beach pavilion Orsa Maggiore of Ostia where the journalist had gone to enquire about a change of management together with her two technicians. Spada had threatened her with death.