OSCE media freedom representative urges Holy See to respect journalists’ rights to report on issues of public interest
VIENNA, 23 November 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on the authorities in Vatican City to withdraw criminal charges against two journalists.
In early November, two Italian journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, were formally summoned for questioning by the prosecutor in Vatican City in an investigation into the publication of confidential documents. In recently published books, the two journalists wrote about alleged financial mismanagement and corruption in the Vatican City.
Reportedly, Fittipaldi complied with the request and was questioned on 16 November over his confidential sources — questions he refrained from answering. On 21 November Fittipaldi and Nuzzi were charged with “disclosure of information and documents that are of fundamental interests to the state of Vatican City”. If convicted they face up to eight years in prison. The trial is set to begin on 24 November.
“Journalists must be free to report on issues of public interests and to protect their confidential sources,” Mijatović said. “I call on the authorities not to proceed with the charges and protect journalists’ rights in accordance with OSCE commitments.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She 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.