Italian anti-Mafia writer Roberto Saviano is among the ten candidates for this year’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, awarded by the European Parliament.
Saviano is under permanent police protection in Italy because he wrote that the Camorra has murdered more than ETA, the IRA, Russian and Albanian organised crime rings and Italy’s Red Brigades put together. A newly-elected member of the European Parliament Rosario Crocetta, threatened by the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, has expressed his regret that he will not be able to attend work sessions in Brussels. Although he is guarded around the clock at home, he says the authorities in Belgium have not ensured his protection there, as the French have in Strasbourg. The detailed, published calendar of the parliament’s programme he says poses a real risk for security, given the degree of international organisation attained by the mafia.