Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
ITALY16 August 2002

Journalist released but placed under house arrest over articles in 1960s

A Milan judge ordered Stefano Surace’s release on 16 August because of his age and state of health, but placed him under house arrest at his daughter’s home in Naples. He left prison the same day. The authorities are still pressing the charges against him, but his lawyer, Vitorio Trupiano, is about to file a request for the annulment of his arrest.

12.08.2002 - Journalist imprisoned over articles in 1960s

image 110 x 119 (JPEG)  Reporters Without Borders expressed its outrage over the imprisonment of former journalist Stefano Surace (photo), 69, for supposed press crimes committed more than 30 years ago.

The case is "doubly scandalous", Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. "To sentence journalists to imprisonment for press crimes is contrary to UN standards, but it is unworthy of a democratic country to jail an elderly man who has not been a journalist for years for crimes that should be subject to limitation by lapse of time and which would nowadays not even be the subject of prosecution," he said. "We call on you to intervene and pardon Stefano Surace so that he can be released", the letter added. "We also call for the removal of prison sentences for press crimes from Italian law, as recommended by the UN Commission on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression."

Surace, who edited the nonconformist publication Le Ore during the 1960s, has been incarcerated since December 2001 in Opera prison near Milan, where he is serving a sentence of two years, six months and 12 days stemming from convictions for libel and obscenity handed down in 1963 and 1967. A resident of France for almost 40 years, he was arrested when he went to visit a friend in Italy.

He was known for his investigations into prison life and, while still a journalist, had founded an association of former detainees. He had ceased to work as a journalist before these convictions and had become a ju-jitsu teacher.

  In this country
24 November - Italy
Disturbing wave of attacks on journalists in Rome
16 October - Italy
Supporting Roberto Saviano
13 June - Italy
Ulterior motives seen in new bill imposing jail terms and heavy fines on media that publish phone taps
14 December - Italy
Call for European-level protection of sources after search of La Repubblica reporter’s home
29 June - Italy
Concern about adoption of bill on publication of phone call intercepts

in the annual report
Italy - Annual Report 2008
Italy - Annual report 2007
Italy - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives