By: Steven Heller | June 3, 2010
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and Duce-in-waiting, is decidedly taking a few too many lessons from his Fascist predecessor Benito Mussolini. He recently enacted strict gag rulings against the press that effectively end any oversight of government in the 20 percent of the press and TV he does not already own. A recent article in The Guardian UK by Benedetta Brevini titled “Europe Should Protect Italy’s Freedom of Speech,” acuses the EU of ignoring the issue and otherwise giving a blind eye and free pass to the wannabe directator.
“Apparently, Berlusconi’s control on Italian television was not enoughto stop some newspapers from publishing embarrassing stories regardingthe prime minister and his close allies,” Brevini writes. “And so came the urgent need to pass this unconstitutional lawthat will both silence the press and hamper the chances for magistratesto pursue criminal investigations. In fact, this law would restrictwiretaps for investigation purposes and whack jail sentences on thejournalists publishing interceptions. Indeed, wiretaps are fundamentaltools for investigators to find evidence for serious crimes. Withoutwiretaps, many high-profile bosses from the mafia, such as Salvatore Riina or Bernardo Provenzano, would not have been arrested.”
(Extra: More from Italia here.)
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