Intimidating sports figures

One story describes how in December 2014 investigative journalist Guiseppe ‘Pino’ Maniaci found his two dogs hanged, just days after his car was torched - allegedly by the Sicilian mafia.Maniaci runs an anti-mafia TV station Telejato and is described as an “information hero” by RWB. Angeli was put under police protection in 2013 after receiving death threats for investigating the organized crime families of Ostia, Rome.

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The Italian mafia are “back in business” and silencing the country’s journalists with a vigor last seen in the 1990s, according to Antoine Héry, the head of the World Press Freedom Index, part of the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

A total of 43 cases of physical aggression and seven cases of arson attacks on journalists’ homes and cars were reported during the first 10 months of 2014 according to figures provided by Ossigeno per l’Informazione, an Italian NGO that monitors freedom of information.

Héry believes that Italy’s problem with the mafia is “increasing in intensity,” particularly in the north and south of the country where he says the growing number of attacks could be a sign of the mafia “starting to threaten journalists again as they did in the 90s, a time in which it was very violent to stand against them”.

index on global freedom of expression in 2014 conducted by Reporters Without Borders, falling 24 places from 49th in 2013.


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