29 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 18 May 2018 Italy

Italy: Journalist Sentenced to Four months in Jail for "Trespassing"

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
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On 9 April 2018, Davide Falcioni, journalist and collaborator of Fanpage, has been declared guilty of "participation in trespassing" and sentenced to four months in jail by the Tribunal of Turin, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The sentence is related to an incident in which Falcioni followed NO-TAV (No to the High Speed Train) activists while they entered the Turin offices of the Geovalsus Srl company, without authorisation, in November 2012.

The journalist has always declared he only entered the company offices to cover the demonstration against the TAV, the high speed railway that is under construction to link Turin and Lyon in France.

“It is very serious that the Tribunal is trying to punish a journalist for the way he acquires his information”, Falcioni told Ossigeno per l'informazione. “We need a journalism that doesn’t depend on the press releases of the police or prosecutors.”

His lawyer Gianluca Vitale had even stronger words at the end of the trial: “This is a gag on press freedom” he declared to Il Fatto Quotidiano; “It is dangerous for democracy”.

The prosecutor Manuela Petrotta had questioned the usefulness of going inside the company with the demonstrators, stating he could have “asked after”: he could have asked the demonstrators what they did inside the company office afterwards. Falcioni responded to this that he wanted to see with his own eyes what was going on.

Falcioni will appeal the verdict. The press union Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana have expressed solidarity with the reporter.
Updates
23 May 2018
In April 2018, Davide Falcioni lodged an appeal against the sentence of Tribunal of Turin. He is free waiting for his appeal to be examined by the Appellate Court of Turin.
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