European Federation of Journalists

Italy: Prime Minister sues Domani newspaper for defamation

Italian defamation laws are once again being misused by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to silence and threaten independent journalism in Italy. The undersigned organisations call for the lawsuit against the newspaper Domani to be dropped and for the Italian Parliament to adopt a comprehensive reform of defamation laws in Italy.  In October 2021, the current Prime Minister, at the time member of the Italian Parliament and leader of the far-right party Fratelli d’Italia,  initiated legal action for aggravated criminal defamation against Emiliano Fittipaldi and Stefano Feltri, respectively correspondent and editor of the daily national newspaper Domani. The lawsuit originated from an article that raised…

Italy: A call in support of Roberto Saviano, defendant in a defamation trial

Members of the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE), with the support of the coalition’s Italian group and Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), express solidarity with Roberto Saviano who attended the first hearing in the proceedings for aggravated defamation initiated against him by current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. We are seriously concerned about the criminal proceedings initiated in 2021 by the current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Fratelli d’Italia. Under the current provisions on defamation, Roberto Saviano risks imprisonment for his criticism of Meloni during a TV programme. Such accusations act as a gag on freedom of expression,…

Italy: Concern about prosecutor’s demand for prison sentence for journalists over factual reporting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media freedom and journalist associations today express shared concern over an Italian prosecutor’s request for a six-month prison sentence in a case of defamation through the press involving three journalists. The lawsuit had been filed in response to their reporting on a labour lawsuit associated with a former minister. Prison sentences in cases of defamation through the press have been declared unconstitutional by the Italian Constitutional Court in 2021, except for cases of exceptional gravity. No journalist should face nor fear prison sentences for having published factual information in the public…

Italy: Concern after authorities search Rai 3 editorial office and home of journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern over the searches carried out by police at the offices of Rai 3’s investigative programme ‘Report’ and the home of investigative journalist Paolo Mondani. We urge the Italian Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate (DIA) to provide assurances that the confidentiality of journalists’ sources will not be jeopardised and to reaffirm its respect for the principles of press freedom. The MFRR joins the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana, the Unione Sindacale Giornalisti Rai and the Ordine Dei Giornalisti in raising alarm about the heavy-handed actions…

MFRR Mission report: who is afraid of journalists in Italy?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its partner organisations in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in publishing a mission report focusing on key challenges facing press freedom in Italy. The report followed a three-day fact-finding mission to Rome, Naples and Arzano from 4 to 6 April 2022, which was led by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa. The delegation’s findings were published today and launched at an event organised by the MFRR featuring a representative of the European Commission, as well as our Italian affiliate, the Italian Federation of Journalists (FNSI), Articolo 21 and the Italian Order of Journalists.…

EFJ to join press freedom mission to Italy

From 4 to 6 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in Italy for a fact-finding mission focused on two main topics: safety of journalists and state protection measures on one side, and SLAPPs against journalists and the need for comprehensive legislative reforms of the framework of defamation and media freedom on the other.  In collaboration with local partners, including the Italian National Federation of Journalists (FNSI), the journalists’ association Articolo 21 and the Chamber of Journalists, the MFRR delegation will address these issues from different perspectives and with…

Italy: Solidarity with harassed TV reporter Greta Beccaglia

Journalist of Toscana TV Greta Beccaglia was groped by a football fan while she was reporting live from the Empoli vs Fiorentina game in Empoli on 27 November 2021. The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) joined its Italian affiliate, the FNSI, in strongly condemning this intolerable attack and calling for solidarity with Greta Beccaglia. The female journalist was interviewing fans pouring out of the Empoli stadium after the match when one fan approached her and slapped her on the backside – live on Toscana TV. Beccaglia reacted calmly, saying “Sorry, you can’t do this,” and professionally continued her…

Italy: Journalists face fresh violence covering ‘green pass’ protests

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are highly concerned about yet another series of violent attacks and threats to journalists and media workers covering protests against the government’s pandemic-related measures across Italy.  Several incidents of hostility and violence towards media were reported in Rome on 9 October, when journalists and photojournalists were attacked while reporting on a protest by anti-vaccine and far-right groups against government measures to require all workers to carry the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Photojournalist Francesco Cocco, a contributor to daily newspaper Il Foglio, said he was deliberately kicked in the groin and…

Italy: Defamation law must be reformed

A year after the Constitutional Court ruled on the unconstitutionality of prison sentences in cases of defamation through the press, on 22 June 2021 the Court issued a follow-up decision declaring art. 13 of Law 47/1948 (Press Law) not compliant with the Constitution. The Court has however declared art. 595(3) of the Penal Code, which provides for a sentence between six months and three years of prison or the payment of a fine, compliant with the Constitution, as it allows the judge to order the imprisonment only in cases of “exceptional severity”. In June 2020, the Constitutional Court invited the Italian…