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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Italy - December 2023

Chamber of Deputies votes controversial amendment deemed as “gag law”
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The Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament) approved an amendment banning “full or extract publication of the text of the precautionary custody order until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation or until the end of the preliminary hearing.” The amendment, backed by right-wing parties and centrists from Azione, gives the government the power to change Article 114 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As a next step, approval from the Senate (upper house of parliament) is required for the amendment to go into effect. According to Enrico Costa (centrist opposition party Azione), who has proposed the amendment, the media can summarize and report about the content of precautionary custody orders, but they cannot publish the procedural document verbatim, especially if it contains wiretaps and unverified information. Legal experts noted the uncertainty lies in the term "extract" since it can refer to either a fraction or a summary. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni links the amendment to the European Directive on the presumption of innocence. Journalists have protested against what they call the “gag law.” Regional journalists' association presidents and the European Federation of Journalists have labelled it a threat to the public's right to be informed.

Sources: Parlamento Italiani, la Repubblica, Italian Government, Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana, European Federation of Journalists, Domani, il Fatto Quotidiano (1), il Fatto Quotidiano (2), il Fatto Quotidiano (3), Il Dubbio, Pagella Politica   

Primary categories and factors
Rights 0 Rights  (0)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of The Press

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