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Italy

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EU underscores support of free expression, but slights access to information

A new document on freedom of expression and opinion, adopted May 12 by the 28 foreign ministers of the European Union, presses nearly all the right buttons. Drawing its inspiration from international human rights norms as well as from the EU's treaties and its charter of fundamental rights, the document reaffirms the role of freedom of opinion and expression as "an essential foundation for democracy, rule of law, peace, stability, sustainable inclusive development, and participation in public affairs." It also makes a strong case for free and independent journalism. The ministers committed the EU and member states to the defense of journalists' freedom and safety, and endorsed watchdog journalism as a decisive factor in "uncovering abuses of power, shining a light on corruption, and questioning received opinion."

Blog   |   Italy

With Panorama jail sentences, Italy's libel law under fire

"Incredible," "staggering," "enormous," "out of time"--the expressions of outrage have been flying in Italy since a Milan magistrate sentenced to prison three journalists for the weekly magazine Panorama. On May 24, Andrea Marcenaro and Riccardo Arena were each condemned to a one-year jail term for a 2010 article discussing Palermo magistrate Francesco Messineo's alleged family connections to the mafia. The editor-in-chief of the center-right news magazine, Giorgio Mule, was sentenced to eight months in jail for "having failed to check the article." The three journalists must also pay 20,000 euros (US$26,000) in compensation to the defendant.

Blog   |   Italy

Anarchists and suspected mafia target Italian media

The last several months in Italy have seen a few disquieting attacks against independent media and an investigative reporter. In one case, the widely distributed independent newspaper La Stampa received an explosive device in the mail.  The Federazione Anarchica Informale/Fronte Rivoluzionario, an anarchist organization, claimed responsibility and ominously noted that La Stampa was just one of many newspapers that could be a target of the group's war against the state. CPJ research shows that the state of press freedom in Italy is among the most volatile in Western Europe, with violence and legal action sometimes perpetrated by criminal groups or political actors.

Blog   |   Italy, UK

Council of Europe foreign ministers call for libel reform

Trickling back from the summer recess, European press freedom advocates and media lawyers are taking stock of facts and statements that went underreported during the holiday lull. And libel reform stands on top of the pile.  

Blog   |   CPJ, Italy

Artist's exhibit tells new stories about killed journalists

The "On Journalism #2 Typewriter." (Julian Koschwitz)

Julian Koschwitz is doing his part to ensure that the 918 journalists killed for their work since 1992 don't fade into mere numbers.

June 14, 2012 6:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, France, Italy, Romania, Russia, Turkey, UK, Ukraine

Defending the European Court of Human Rights

Judges hear a case in the European Court of Human Rights. More than 60,000 people sought the court's help in 2011. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

The European Court of Human Rights is a victim of its success. In 2011, more than 60,000 people sought its help after exhausting all judicial remedies before national courts. But now, some member states of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe are pushing for reforms of the prestigious institution and are pointing at the number of cases to make their argument. Instead of enhancing the court's capacity to deal with the backlog of cases, their moves would clip the court's prerogatives and undermine a citizen's capacity to defend his most fundamental rights.

Blog   |   Italy

CPJ responds to readers' comments on Italy letter

In the past week, CPJ has received a number of emails in reaction to our April 19 letter, signed by Executive Director Joel Simon, to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, which details cases of harassment by Perugia authorities against journalists, writers, and bloggers who have critically covered high-profile local murder cases. Some of the emails we have received question the accuracy of our letter as well as our motives for writing it. Most of those stem from this post in reaction to our letter by a blogger, who goes by the penname Kermit. 

April 28, 2011 3:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   Italy

In Italy, vote postponed on Berlusconi's ‘gag law’

Berlusconi finds a wiretap bill more difficult to pass than expected. (AP/Riccardo De Luca)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is leaving for vacation in a very bad mood. On Thursday, the House of Deputies, although dominated by Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, decided to postpone until September its vote on a wiretap bill that had been considered a bellwether by a government wracked by internecine wars and confronted with ominous poll predictions.

Blog   |   Italy

Chilling Google verdict in Italy

David Drummond is one of three Google executives given a suspended prison term. (Reuters)

Italy was already the Internet freedom bad boy among western European democracies with its plans to extend broadcast TV licensing requirements to video sites. But the conviction today by a Milan judge of three Google executives is more than a one-off case of antisocial cyber behavior. It could end the protection that Web platforms now enjoy for user posted content. Potentially, that would mean that every video posted on the company’s YouTube site would have to be pre-screened for compliance with the law. That’s impossible for a site that is uploading almost a day’s worth of video every minute worldwide.

Internet freedom defenders had been expecting the worst for months, and Judge Oscar Magi didn’t disappoint. He gave six-month suspended prison sentences to David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, and George Reyes, a former chief financial officer. 

February 24, 2010 5:49 PM ET

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