April 30, 2024

30.04.2024 – Solidarity with Domani Journalist in Italy Under Threat of Imprisonment

The news of three journalists from Domani (https://www.editorialedomani.it/) facing potential imprisonment has sparked global outrage, with numerous international media outlets and organizations rallying behind a call for press freedom and showing solidarity with Domani newspaper. On 22 April 2024, Domani’s director, Emiliano Fittipaldi, was summoned by the anti-mafia commission for over three hours to testify regarding the Perugia (in Italy) investigation into the alleged leak of information involving one financier and one magistrate. Perugia’s chief prosecutor, has also named three Domani journalists, Nello Trocchia, Giovanni Tizian, and Stefano Vergine, as suspects in the case, risking sentences of up to 9 years in prison.

The heart of the issue lies in what Director Fittipaldi vehemently contests as “dossiering.” He refutes the notion, stating that there was no dossier involved. Instead, he emphasizes that they diligently verified and published the news without any intention of leveraging it for blackmail.

This investigation stems from Domani’s 27 October 2022 publication of an article exposing conflicts of interest involving a minister. Following the article’s release, which contained verified and substantiated information, the minister refrained from legal action but sought to uncover the journalists’ protected sources. You can read Domani’s article that was mentioned here: https://www.editorialedomani.it/politica/mondo/guido-crosetto-ministro-della-difesa-giorgia-meloni-armi-industria-leonardo-f5nau23f

The prospect of imprisonment for three colleagues has ignited widespread condemnation. Over 70 international organizations and media outlets. Including SEEMO, have joined Domani’s plea for press freedom and expressed solidarity with our cause.

The current investigation not only threatens the confidentiality of journalistic sources but also aims to stifle our investigative reporting on government officials.

This is not an isolated incident; members of the current Italian government have increasingly targeted Domani (https://www.editorialedomani.it/idee/commenti/italys-govt-is-attacking-media-freedom-but-we-can-stop-it-fcwkcljp) and other media outlets with Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP), damage claims, and intimidation tactics. With this plea for support, they urge Italian judicial and political authorities to uphold the right to report, safeguard press freedom, and ensure the public’s access to independent media.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the legal action taken against the journalists of Domani, as it represents a grave threat to press freedom and the right to information. The potential imprisonment of Giovanni Tizian, Nello Trocchia, and Stefano Vergine is an assault on investigative journalism and the public’s right to be informed. Such actions undermine the essential role of journalists in holding those in power accountable and revealing matters of public interest. SEEMO stands in solidarity with the journalists of Domani and calls for the protection of their rights, including the confidentiality of journalistic sources, as enshrined in international standards of press freedom.

The international support is online:

https://seemo.org/pdf/Domani_Petition_Final_Eng_23_apr.pdf(English version)

https://seemo.org/pdf/Domani_Appello_Finale_Ita_23_apr.pdf(Italian versioion)

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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