Twenty Italian journalists under state protection due to threats


Italian freedom of expression watchdog OSSIGENA per l'Informazione continues to document a worrying pattern of threats against journalists because of their work. In a one week period from 15th - 21st July 2017, OSSIGENA documented and verified 32 cases of intimidation against journalists in Palermo, Lazio, Sicilia, Liguria and Calabria. On 4th July 2017, the Italian government published an official report confirming that 20 Italian journalists are under personal protection measures following threats made against them. Of the 20, 60 percent work in Rome, with the other journalists located in Milan, Caserta, Reggio Calabria and Viterbo.

In one of the most recent incidents, unknown persons burgled the house of journalist Paolo Borrometi, who has lived under police protection for years because of threats received following his investigations into organised crime. The thieves took a computer hard disk and some notes. Borrometi has received many death threats due to his coverage of the mafia and had to leave Sicily for security reasons in 2015.

Peaceful Assembly

In a follow up to the Monitor's July 2017 update on the anti Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) protests, residents of Brindisi in southern Italy are now preparing to resist the extension of the controversial gas pipeline into their region. A public assembly has been organised for 8th September 2017 in Brindisi to create a No TAP committee that will be similar to those set up by citizens in other areas of southern Italy over concerns about the pipeline's potential damage to the environment. 

Campaigning group has also created an online petition, asking the leaders of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to put a halt to the pipeline's construction.