Here the text published on the website of EFJ:

The president of the Italian Federation of Journalists (FNSI), Beppe Giulietti, has been the target of a campaign of harassment and intimidation on social networks since 18 August. The campaign is fuelled by online accounts that advocate extreme right-wing theses. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls for Justice to respond.

Beppe Giulietti defended the Italian journalists who have demonstrated that an alleged report in the newspaper “Libero” on August 7 that migrants had killed and eaten five dogs belonging to a resident of Lampedusa was in fact false information, which was not based on any proven facts.

Like Beppe Giulietti, the journalists who exposed this false news, including Angela Caponnetto of Rai News 24 and Nello Scavo of the newspaper “Avvenire”, were also subjected to threats and insults on social networks.

MP Walter Verini, Coordinator of the Committee of the Anti-Mafia Parliamentary Commission for the Protection of Threatened Journalists in Italy, announced on 20 August that he would organise a hearing to follow up on the testimonies of threatened journalists and the FNSI.

The EFJ expresses its solidarity with the threatened Italian journalists and calls on the Italian judicial authorities to take these threats seriously. “Calls for hatred and violence cannot go unpunished,” said the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. The state must protect journalists whom extremists want to silence. This case highlights the decisive role of journalists in the face of fake news spread by enemies of democracy and the rule of law.”

Tags: Italy Harassment Safety of journalists

This content is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response  (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The project is co-funded by the European Commission.