Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 20:36 GMT

Predators of Press Freedom: Italy - Organised crime

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 3 May 2011
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, Predators of Press Freedom: Italy - Organised crime, 3 May 2011, available at: [accessed 18 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Organised crime, Italy

Italian shopkeepers, business-people and judges are not the only victims of organised crime networks such as Cosa Nostra, the Camorra, the 'Ndrangheta, and the Sacra Corona Unita. Journalists and writers also find themselves in the line of fire as soon as they try to report on the Italian mafia. One of them, Roberto Saviano, author of the book Gomorra, is forced to live under permanent police protection.

A dozen journalists work with police protection. There have been hundreds of threats, anonymous letters, slashed tyres and burned cars. Every journalist writing about these criminal groups has been watched at one time or another. Lirio Abbate, correspondent in Palermo for the news agency Ansa and author of I Complici (The Accomplices), also lives under permanent police protection, as does (since March 2008) Rosaria Capacchione, who has covered the Camorra for the main Naples daily Il Mattino for more than 20 years. She and Saviano are both hunted by the Casalesi clan. Their risky work gets no support from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said in November 2009 he would like to "strangle" writers and filmmakers who give Italy a bad image by focusing on the mafia.

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