Police officers are seen in Naples, Italy, on October 25, 2020. Two journalists with Sky TG 24 were recently attacked at a protest against the city's coronavirus lockdown. (Reuters/Ciro De Luca)

Italian TV crew covering anti-lockdown demonstration attacked and chased in Naples

In the evening of October 23, 2020, a group of protesters attacked and chased Paolo Fratter, a reporter for Italian news channel Sky TG 24, and his camera operator, Fabio Giulianelli, while they were covering a demonstration against the COVID-19 lockdown in Naples, according to a report by their employer and Fratter, who communicated with CPJ via email.

Fratter was broadcasting live when demonstrators surrounded he and Giulianelli, shouted at them, shoved Fratter, and threw bottles at the two journalists as they fled the scene, according to Fratter and a video of their broadcast published by news website Treviso.

A protester threw a stone that hit Giulianelli in the leg, but neither journalist was seriously injured in the attack, Fratter said. He told CPJ that Sky TG 24’s legal team was investigating the issue.

Protests against the pandemic lockdown policies broke out in Naples and the surrounding Campania region in mid-October, according to news reports. On October 19, anti-lockdown demonstrators threatened journalist Mimmo Rubio in Arzano, also in Campania, as CPJ documented at the time.

CPJ emailed questions to the press department of the municipal police in Naples, but did not receive any reply.