Italian Journalist Risks Being Jailed for Thirty Months for Libel

Update: 27 Jun 2017 State replied
Year 19 May 2017 Country Italy Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
19 May 2017 Italy E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State AEJ , Index Level 2

Gabriele Carchidi, editor in chief of the online newspaper, has been sentenced by a court in Cosenza, in the Calabrian region of southern Italy, to a total of 30 months in prison without suspension of sentence in four libel cases between September 2016 and May 2017. The latest conviction, handed down on 10 May 2017, resulted from a lawsuit brought by the mayor of Cosenza, Mario Occhiuto, concerning references to the mayor on Facebook. The other convictions relate to reports by the journalist about the behaviour of senior carabinieri officers, mayor Occhiuto and a Cosenza magistrate, respectively. Gabriele Carchidi is free while he awaits the result of his appeals to the Appeal court against these four verdicts. Media reports say he also faces the possibility of being tried and receiving further custodial sentences as a result of more than 60 other pending defamation lawsuits against him, mostly brought by politicians, police, magistrates and other public figures.

State replies

27 Jun 2017 : Reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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