21 Jun 2016 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 26 Aug 2015 Italy
Italian Journalists and Media Staff Face Death Threats Following Mafia Boss’ Funeral
Two Italian journalists and support staff have received death threats for reporting on mafia boss Vittorio Casamonica’s funeral, held in Rome on 21 August 2015. 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.
: On 21 June 2016, considering the positive developments represented by the arrest of the individuals who had seized the journalists` equipment and the approval of the report prepared by the Antimafia Commission, the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
03 Mar 2016
On 3 March 2016 the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved unanimously a report prepared by the Antimafia Commission on “the state of information and the condition of journalists threatened by the Mafia”, which contains a proposal to create new “aggravating” circumstances in the criminal code for the cases of Mafia offences against journalists.
31 Aug 2015
On 31 August 2015, two individuals related to the Casamonica family were arrested and charged with robbery for stealing the journalists` phones and cameras.
- Article published by the Italian NGO Articolo 21 (in Italian only): "Aggredita la troupe di Agorà (Rai3). “Il tiro al cronista” non conosce soste"
- Article published on the website Ossigeno per l’informazione (in Italian only): "Terzigno (Napoli). Cronista aggredito all'eliporto usato per funerale casamonica"
- Article published by the Guardian: "Italian journalists receive death threats following mafia don's funeral "
21 Jun 2016
Reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs