Italian journalists face death threats following mafia boss’ funeral

Students hold a banner reading "Mafia capital, National cancer" in downtown Rome on December 12, 2014 during an eight-hour-strike called by the CGIL and UIL unions to protest against measures contained in the 2015 budget bill and against Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government controversial Jobs Act, which they say threatens employment and workers' rights.      AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

Two Italian journalists and support staff have received death threats for reporting on mafia boss Vittorio Casamonica’s funeral, which took place in Rome, on 21 August.

Alessio Viscardi, an investigative reporter for the online newspaper Fanpage.it was threatened on 22 August by four people in Terzigno (40 km south of Naples), when he was looking for the airfield where the helicopter had taken off to throw rose petals on the funeral procession. The attackers took photographs of his documents and threatened to kill him.

The second attack occurred on 23 August, in Rome: a team from public TV channel RAI 3, including journalist Alfonso Iuliano, a cameraman and a sound engineer, were shooting video in the Appio area, where several members of the Casamonica family are living, when they were attacked by local residents who threatened to kill them if they did not stop filming. Two people were arrested and charged with robbery after allegedly taking the journalists’ phones.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have asked the Italian authorities to investigate the attacks and punish the perpetrators. The case has been submitted today to the Council of Europe Platform for the Safety of Journalists.

(Picture credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP)

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