Simone Zazzera wanted to know if he had conducted excavations in the sealed building site after the collapse. The man ripped off his glasses and threw them into the road
On the 15th February 2018 the journalist Simone Zazzera from Rai Radio News was assaulted at Palestrina (Roma) by a developer from whom he had asked explanations about the demolition works his company was carrying out in via Livio Andronico in the Balduina neighbourhood of Rome to create an underground car park.
The day before a sink hole had opened up in the road adjacent to the building site and Zazzera had placed himself purposefully in front of the head office of the building company to ask for explanations. Intercepted in his car, the manager of the company first of all attempted to take hold of the journalist’s mobile phone then he pulled off his glasses and threw them from the car window into the road.
The journalist had gone to ask if it was precisely that company which had carried out the excavations. “Asking questions is our job” Zazzera commented on Facebook regarding the episode.
Magistrates have sealed the building site and opened investigations into the building company and the landowner.
Solidarity has been expressed by FNSI, by Usigrai and by Radio One News which in an added note speak of an “unacceptable episode” (read here).
The journalist recounted in detail the episode on his Facebook page. After having spoken on the entry phone and hearing that they didn’t want to respond to any questions, Zazzera stopped the car which came out of the company’s gate. In the Facebook post he specifies that he is qualified as a radio journalist writing that “in place of a notebook I use a recorder”. Moreover he reports that the developer with his car made a couple of circles around him as if to threaten him. The man then spoke on the entry phone with the company and asked them to call the carabinieri because, “in his words – Zazzera concludes – I had attacked him on his own property.”
The precedents in Lazio – From 2011 until today, in Lazio, Ossigeno has identified 720 serious violations of press freedom and freedom of expression committed by acts of violence and abuses towards journalists, bloggers, video operators, photo-journalists and editors whose names are published in the Observatory Table. In 2017 141 names have been added to this list.