OSSIGENO – 24th July 2020 –
The second quarterly report 2020 documents 127 episodes with names and surnames and repeats the alarm raised by the Interior Ministry over the trend of the last six months which so far has fallen on deaf ears
The health emergency has slowed down many activities in Italy but has not reduced the intimidation and threats aimed at journalists who publish unwelcome news, notes the second 2020 Quarterly Report of Ossigeno per l’Informazionepublished today. The report is based on direct observations made between April and June. (Read here the Report)
In these three months, the Ossigeno Observatory has identified and documented 127 intimidations and threats with names and surnames. The number is essentially the same as in the first quarter (123) because this is the maximum number of incidents that the current number of Ossigeno’s observers are able to study, verify and document in a quarter. There are actually many more intimidations, the Report notes, underlining the data of the Ministry of the Interior, which recorded in the first six months of 2020 more threats to journalists than the previous 12 months ( an increase of 100% on a monthly basis) and reiterating the alarm raised on the 25th June 2020 by the Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese on the basis of these data.
The second 2020 quarterly report by Ossigeno regards this trend as alarming and explains why it should not be underestimated as it has been so far. The doubling of intimidation of journalists deserves the utmost political and media attention and also requires immediate measures. According to Ossigeno’s analysis, in the last three months the Government and Parliament have given worrying signs of inattention and inconsistency, both before the Constitutional Court by defending imprisonment for journalists and in the Senate where the bill for the abolition of imprisonment provides for a 20 to 40 times increase in fines.
Among the most recurrent intimidations, also supported by the Oxygen Free Legal Aid Office, the Report highlights the defamation lawsuits by magistrates and politicians who are intolerant of criticism of their work. It also takes into account the number of threats to Italian journalists reported in the same period by the Interior Ministry (3 times fewer), by the observatory financed by the European Commission (11 times fewer), by the Platform of the Council of Europe (40 times fewer).