Italian journalists have led protests in Rome and 31 other Italian cities against a new anti-wiretap law.
Journalists say the law is too sweeping and will help criminals and muzzle the free press. It will impose fines on new organisations and imprison journalists who publish transcripts. Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi says the law is needed to protect privacy.
Franco Siddi, head of the Italian Press Federation declared: “It’s not possible to abolish freedom of speech with a law of this kind that introduces a gag, a preventative censure on crime or justice news, with the explicit objective, now quite clear, not to protect the weak from abuse but to protect the powerful from the misdeeds they sometimes carry out.”
Berlusconi also wants to ram the law through parliament just two days before the holiday recess.
For Nando Bonessio, regional president of the Green Party “this is an attack on the memory of all those who have given their lives for justice and freedom. We need to act now because afterwards it will be impossible to hold up our heads again.”
There’s plenty of opposition elsewhere. Many judges for example say it’s a bad law, and even Berlusconi ally and leader of the lower house Gianfranco Fini wants more time to debate it. Many also fear it’s a law that will make uncovering corruption more difficult.