Reporters Without Borders

UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression joins the OSCE in calling for withdrawal of “gag law”

Published on Tuesday 13 July 2010. Updated on Thursday 15 July 2010.
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Reporters Without Borders hailed an official request made today by the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression calling on the Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi to drop a draft law restricting publication of transcripts of phone tapping.

The UN official, Franck La Rue, also urged the Italian authorities to open a dialogue between all parties involved so as to “make sure their concerns were taken into consideration”.

“The special rapporteur takes its responsibilities very seriously and defends the right of everyone to seek and share news and information as guaranteed by the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by Italy. We salute this official request which should be heard by the Italian authorities”, Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope that the UN will also apply the same logic to other laws that are just as worrying in other countries. The amount of draconian legislation has unfortunately hugely increased within the European Union as elsewhere in the world,” it added.

“We repeat our appeal to all deputies in Italy’s National Assembly to reject such a controversial law and one that that has been condemned by so many international bodies. It would be inconceivable for a founding member country of the EU to pass a law being so clearly challenged at an international level. Italian deputies have a chance here to prove that the public interest of all Italians always takes precedence over the private interests of some of their number”, the organisation concluded.

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