OSCE Representative concerned over seizure of equipment at an Italian journalist’s home

OSCE Representative concerned over seizure of equipment at an Italian journalist’s home

VIENNA, September – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, today sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, to express his concerns about the seizure of a journalist’s phone and computer, as well as to recall the necessity to respect the protection of journalistic sources and to enquire whether the seizure respected national and international standards.

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Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. (Quai d&#;Orsay/Frédéric de La Mure )

PRESS RELEASE
OSCE Representative concerned over seizure of equipment at an Italian journalist’s homeVIENNA, September – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, today sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, to express his concerns about the seizure of a journalist’s phone and computer, as well as to recall the necessity to respect the protection of journalistic sources and to enquire whether the seizure respected national and international standards.

On September the home of La Repubblica journalist Salvo Palazzolo was searched at the request of the prosecutor of Catania as part of an investigation related to a case of alleged leak of information and violation of confidentiality of a judicial procedure after the journalist published a report on the via D&#;Amelio bombing, an attack by the Sicilian Mafia in which magistrate Paolo Borsellino was killed with five policemen in .

“The seizure and search of Palazzolo’s mobile phone and computer undermines the protection of sources of the journalist and the right of the press not to disclose confidential sources, which is essential for the exercise of reporting on issues of public interest,” Désir said.

Désir recalled that in General Comment No , the authoritative interpretation of Article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee has clearly indicated that freedom of expression includes the protection of journalistic sources (paragraph ).

The Representative also cited the recommendation made by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and freedom of expression, David Kaye, in his report the UN General Assembly, that “any restrictions on confidentiality must be genuinely exceptional and subject to the highest standards, and implemented by judicial authorities only” (A//, para ).

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all OSCE participating States. He provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, twitter @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/representative-on-freedom-of-media/Contacts:Deniz YaziciWallnerstrasse ViennaAustriaOffice: + Mobile: +

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