The Italian journalists union Fnsi announced today its senior leadership would boycott Premier Giorgia Meloni’s year-end press conference. This decision is in protest against a proposed bill that seeks to prohibit the publication of the contents of preventive-detention warrants.
Last week, Fnsi signalled its intent to stage a series of protests against the bill, characterising it as a “gag” that infringes upon the right to report the news. The union clarified that the decision to skip the press conference is not an abandonment of an institutional commitment but marks the beginning of a broader mobilisation against what it sees as censorial measures and a defence of the dignity of the journalistic profession.
In a statement, the union outlined its initial protest plan: a morning walk in front of governmental buildings while participants wear gags. Journalists were invited to assemble at the Fnsi headquarters in Rome’s Via delle Botteghe Oscure 54 at 10 am on Thursday 28th December.
Freedom killing measure
Fnsi Secretary General Alessandra Costante, expressing strong opposition to the bill, labelled it a “freedom-killing measure”. She said it not only contradicts Article 21 of the Constitution (ensuring freedom of expression and opinion) but also infringes upon individual freedoms.
She also noted the dangers of not knowing whether a person has been arrested, pointing out the risks to both press freedom and the recipients of pre-trial detention orders. Costante urged solidarity among journalists and the broader community, invoking historical memories of dictatorships and disappearances, such as the case of Alexei Navalny, as reasons to remain vigilant.
Italy’s Order of Journalists, the professional association representing the sector, has also voiced its opposition to the proposed ban.