The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the
European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), today called
for a broad support to Italian journalists, civil society groups and
individuals who will demonstrate in Rome
on Saturday to defend press freedom and freedom of information against
continuous attacks by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
"Enough is enough", said IFJ President Jim Boumelha, who will
also take part to the demonstration. "The condition of journalists and media in
this country has been threatened for years, but the recent use of Mr.
Berlusconi's economic and political power to intimidate journalists and muzzle
the media goes simply beyond any acceptable limits of democracy".
Mr. Berlusconi, himself the owner of the major private
broadcasters in the country, has a long record of threats to press freedom and
independence of the media: dominant position in private television, political
interference in public broadcaster RAI, attempts to criminalise journalists who
use or to refer to telephone tapping and attacks on media or journalists who questioned
the impact of his private life on public affairs.
Recently, Mr. Berlusconi was also the first head of government who took legal action
against various Italian and European media, including Repubblica, L' Unità, El Pais, le Nouvel
Observateur. He claimed millions Euros of damages, alleging "defamatory"
articles on his private life published in the media.
He even criticized the European Commission for interfering in national affairs and threatened
to block the European Council if Commissioners fail to "control" their
European journalists are proud to be present at this
demonstration gathering over 50,000 people and they fully support the IFJ/EFJ
affiliate, the Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) in its this
struggle for press freedom and for an ethical and a free journalism.
The demonstration will take
place on 3 October at 3pm on Piazza del Popolo, Rome.
More information in Italian: http://fnsi-libera-informazione.blogspot.com/
Messages of solidarity can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: +32 2 235 22 00
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more
than 30 countries of Europe