Journalists stopped before the Ultima Generazione search at the police station: “They did not identify themselves as journalists.” But the story of the envoys reveals something completely different.

After the outbreak of controversy surrounding the three journalists arrested by the police while they were on their way to cover the latest raid by Ultima Generazione activists in Rome, the response from the Police Prefecture has arrived. Who gave his version of the facts in a note, writing that “the subjects present on site did not declare or demonstrate that they were journalists”. And adding that the journalists showed identity cards which were recorded in the service report. “At the same time – continues the police headquarters – in the Via Veneto district where a spill was taking place, other members of the journalists' association, after showing their professional badge, continued to do their work regularly, without being subject to any additional control.

The journalists' version

A reconstruction which is, to say the least, in contradiction with what those directly involved did. Angela Nittoli, one of them, a Open he said: “Something like this had never happened to me personally. I have been doing this job for twenty years and yes it happened to me that, during an event, I was asked for my professional card. But once he was exposed and the appropriate checks were made, I returned to cover the event.” Instead, she and her colleagues were kept for an hour in a secure room, with the door opened.

The note from the Security Department

The Security Department also issued a memo in which it admitted that there are, essentially, no guidelines for the media: “In Rome and the rest of the national territory, no operational guidelines have ever been issued. data providing for the identification of journalists. and information operators during public events”. And again: “Isolated episodes giving rise to identification occurred in contexts where the qualification of journalist had not been declared or demonstrated. In any case, these are circumstances which cannot be attributed to new modes of operation.”

A political affair

The affair has since become a political issue. In fact, not only professional bodies, such as the Order of Journalists, the Fnsi union, the Roman Press Association and various editorial commissions, have taken sides in denouncing the incident. The parliamentary opposition has already asked for more clarity: “These episodes should in no case be underestimated because they constitute alarm bells which risk compromising fundamental rights such as the right to information,” declared the MP Andrea Orlando. While Nicola Fratoianni speaks of a “behavior of the police forces that is now unsustainable”, and Angelo Bonelli defines that of Piantedosi as “a police state, similar to that of regimes”. “Journalistic, documentation and filming work must always be guaranteed, respecting everyone's security conditions but guaranteeing the full exercise of press freedom,” comments Senator Barbara Floridia, president of the supervisory commission. of Rai.

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