Expression

Free expression is constitutionally guaranteed, however some challenges prevent this right from being fully respected in practice. Defamation is a criminal offense under the penal code and the legislation establishes penalties for up to three years in prison. Although there have been some attempts to decriminalise free speech, a final amendment has not been enacted. This provision is used to restrict speech and to curtail dissent. Journalists, including bloggers, face intimidation and attacks from the state, organised crime and other non-sate actors. The Italian civil society organisation Ossigeno documented over 350 free expression violations during 2017. Media ownership is highly concentrated and political influence over the media remains a serious concern. Italy has not enacted access to information legislation. There are no restrictions on internet connectivity and access to social media, although certain websites related to gambling and terrorism are subject to blocking or removal. Journalists and academics have also been prevented from reporting on migration centres in Italy.