In recent weeks there has been much talk in Italy about a recently opened legal case against the journalist and writer Roberto Saviano, who is accused of defamation in a lawsuit filed in 2020 by Giorgia Meloni, the new prime minister. A description of a wider Italian SLAPP problem.
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.
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 partner organisations of the MFRR have expressed serious concern over the searches carried out by police at the offices of Rai 3’s investigative programme ‘Report’.
On 11 May, partners of the MFRR launched the report of its fact-finding mission to Italy during a live event with journalists and media freedom stakeholders.
From 4 to 6 April, representatives of all partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will be 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.
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
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 Media Freedom Rapid Response and partner organisations welcome the launch of an investigation into the wiretapping of journalists and their sources in Sicily. However, a robust, swift and systematic investigation will be essential for rebuilding trust and ensuring that all journalists, sources and legal professionals in Italy are protected.