Ostia: attempt to set fire to the home of the RAI Report journalist

Persons unknown spread petrol on the landing and drew a cross on the wall. Federico Ruffo, in a recent broadcast of Report (RaiTre) had spoken about the judicial investigation into extremist fans, the organised crime syndicate (the ‘ndrangheta) and Juventus football club officials.

During the night between the 12th and the 13th November 2018 around 4.30 am in Rome, between Ostia Antica and Acilia someone attempted to set fire to the home of the journalist Federico Ruffo, correspondent of the investigative television programme RaiReport. After having spread petrol on the landing, they fled without setting fire to it probably because Ruffo’s dog began to bark furiously.

It is thought that in order to reach the entrance to the house the attackers had climbed over the garden wall. Ruffo himself described the incident on the 14th November in a video published on Report’s Facebook page (see here).

In the days before, the journalist had prepared for the in-depth RaiTre broadcast  the investigative video, “Una Signora Alleanza” (A Ladylike Alliance) about the death of a collaborator with the Juventus football club involved with illicit ticket sales and his links with the ‘ndrangheta, extremist football fans and several officials of the club. The video was broadcast on the 22nd October 2018.

The journalist explained that he did not usually live in that house and could not understand how someone knew that on that night he would sleep precisely there.

The incident was formally reported to the Ostia police and the Rome Prosecutor has begun an investigation. The investigators have examined the scene and they have obtained documentation of the repeated attacks and death threats which Federico Ruffo and the presenter of the programme, the journalist Sigfrido Ranucci have been subjected to through social networks before and after the transmission of the investigation into the Juventus football club.

Solidarity has been expressed by the Italian National Press Federation [FNSI] (read here), by the Roman Press Association, by UNCI (National Union of Broadcast Journalists) and by very many journalists and political figures.

FNSI and Usigrai (union of Rai journalists) even before the programme was broadcast had requested from Rai and the public authorities, “the maximum attention, vigilance and protection” considering that Ruffo had already received threats and warnings of lawsuits.

RDM (wt)

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