The Head of the human rights section of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Counsellor Daniele Borrelli, took the floor today during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, in the framework of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.
Counsellor Borrelli expressed Italy’s deep concern for the worldwide trend of increasing threats and attacks on media freedom and on the safety of journalists, especially women journalists, exposed to distinct risks, as well as by their impact on human rights, democracy and participation in public life.
He recognized that the Internet and digital technologies provide enormous opportunity to promote the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by all, including freedom of opinion and expression, to strengthen democratic institutions and to build inclusive and peaceful societies. Nonetheless, he underlined that digital technologies can also be used as a means to spread disinformation and to target journalists and media freedom.
“As a member of the Media Freedom Coalition and Freedom Online Coalition, Italy is committed to supporting the freedom and safety of all journalists and media workers, both online and offline, and prosecuting violations and abuses of their human rights as well as attacks on their safety and security”, Counsellor Borrelli stated, confirming that Italy will continue to put media freedom protection at the centre of its attention also within other relevant organizations, as the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Italy therefore called on all States to promote independence, pluralism, sustainability and viability of the media and to ensure that journalists and media workers are free to do their invaluable work without fear or being attacked.
Read the full statement here.