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Freedom of expression: Bonino on the visit of the UN special relateur to Italy

Minister Emma Bonino, thanking Special UN Relateur for Freedom of Expression and Opinion Frank La Rue for the attention devoted to Italy during his visit which ended today, pointed out that “all norms governing constitutional rights, particularly if they concern freedom of expression, must be approved by the parliament and that, especially in cases where it is considered necessary to remove web content, the courts must intervene”. One of the reasons for national and international observers’ concerns has to do with the role of Agcom in setting sanctions in matters of intellectual property. “It is my belief”, asserted Minister Bonino, “that this is a prerogative of the parliament, and my hope that the Senate and Chamber will issue legislation on this delicate matter as soon as possible. When the time is right, the government will do its part”. Frank La Rue, on a visit to Italy coordinated by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights, had a packed agenda of meetings in which he confronted the theme of access to information in the public administration, the de-criminalisation of the crime of defamation, the hate speech phenomenon, transparence in media ownership, anti-trust, oversight bodies and public radio/TV services. The report is to be published in June 2014.