4. Italian blog closed by Police – from www.edri.org

On 6 June 2008, the blog of the Italian journalist Antonino Monteleone was
closed, without notification, by the Polizia Postale of Calabria under
accusations of defamation, but the journalist claims that this action came
after having posted uncomfortable information on political figures.

The whole story started in 2006 after the elections, when the blogger posted
extracts from a document containing CVs of candidates for the Italian
Parliament. The document included information of certain names on the
nomination list that had previous relations to cases of power abuse and
manipulation of
tenders or even with mafia activities. On 9 December 2006, Monteleone posted
an article on Galati, member of UDP party then, undersecretary in the
Ministry for productive activities during the period in office of the
Berlusconi Government, showing he was a drug addict. Following a brief
exchange of e-mails between Monteleone and Galati, the latter sued the
former but the court dismissed the case making Galati pay for the costs.

The closing of the website was made without notification and without any
information to the blogger on the concrete accusations. Piero Ricca, a
blogger who was in his turn investigated by the police for defamation
considers the situation absurd and states that the “preventive seizure” for
defamation is a debatable provision anyway. In any case, this action must be
brought to the attention of the post author under accusation.

This is not an isolate case in Italy and Ricca believes there are other
bloggers whose blogs have been seized but did not make this public. It seems
another Italian blogger, Carlo Ruta, was condemned by the Court of Modica
for clandestine printing. Therefore, the blog was treated in this case by
the Italian justice the same as a journal or newspaper.

This is not a trend only in Italy. According to the annual report of the
University of Washington, more and more people are arrested for having
published on their blogs their opinions on political issues. A World
Information Access report states that bloggers have been arrested for having
exposed corruption in government, abuse of human rights or suppression of
protests. The reports also predicts that 2008 will see a higher number of
arrest cases for such kind of issues.

Another Italian blog seized (only in Italian, 10.06.2008)

Why was the blogger condemned? (only in Italian, 17.06.2008)

Blogger arrests hit record high (16.06.2008)

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