European Federation of Journalists

Italy: another government attempt to silence Domani’s investigative reporting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) in contesting injunction threats against daily Domani by undersecretary at the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies Claudio Durigon. We believe that the Italian government is threatening the newspaper to hinder its activities of investigative reporting.

Undersecretary Durigon reportedly threatened Domani for a third time, following an inquiry on the alleged purchase of his property in Rome at a discounted rate from agricultural social security agency ENPAIA. Domani reported on December 12 that Durigon requested a payment of 200,000 euros plus 500 euros daily until the articles concerned, published since February 2023, are retracted and removed from the newspaper’s website.

“Journalists must be allowed to report on any topic without hindrance. Protecting journalists from any type of political interference is one of our key priorities,” says Maja Sever, EFJ President.

“Once again the undersecretary Durigon is attempting to silence the daily Domani. After an archived lawsuit, and law enforcement sent to the newsroom, now comes the request for 200 thousand euros and the injunction to stop writing about him. But once again the gagging attempt will fail,” Domani reported FNSI president Vittorio Di Trapani as saying.

The threat comes after Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in 2022 filed a complaint against the Italian newspaper for reporting on an alleged case of nepotism, and after a threatened lawsuit by Minister of Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti for reporting on an alleged conflict of interest in its party Lega.

The EFJ submitted an alert about this case to the Council of Europe.