Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Letter to the Spanish press

Dear representants of the Spanish press
I am writing to you because, as an Italian journalist, I covered the case of an Italian young man, Simone Righi, imprisoned in the city of Cadiz.
I was dismayed by the coverage of this case by the Spanish press and by the press in general.

I am not related in any way to the accused man, Simone Righi.
However I found so many shortcomings and injustice in Simone’s imprisonment that I think they were very easy to be spot out with a little research by any journalist.
I want to make something very clear: there is a theory that a journalist should never take sides. I do not think so: a real journalist, I believe, should take a side, the side of the truth and justice.
And, if laws are against that, the journalist should not be frightened by it and must still say the truth and what happened. I do not see that in the coverage of Simone’s case in the Spanish press.
First, it was very poor, very little.
Second, it concentrated on the violation of the law and neglected a point: an innocent man was imprisoned. Simone is accused of “having the intention of attacking” some local authorities. Art. 550 and 551 of Spanish penal law were broken: he was sent to jail for two months without judgment. Well, Nelson Mandela too broke the law in South Africa in the past. Injust, racist, authoritarian laws. I do not want to make a comparizon between Mandela and Simone. But I do want to make a comparizon between laws of South Africa in Mandela’s days and today’s laws of Spain.

They were and are both authoritarian. Why nobody in Spain says that?
Why do Spanish people and press allow innocent people to get imprisoned by such laws?
Remember, Spanish press, that when somebody goes to jail for “his intentions” then this process could never stop, and anybody that has intentions, willingness and desires different from those of the people in power might be jailed.
This is the end of freedom. This is the end of democracy.
This is Spain now, because if one exception is made (like in Simone’s case) others might be made in the future. And Spanish press should also be held responsible for that, like in the South african case.
Unfortunately there are no Steve Bikos in Spanish press, people who have the courage to take the side of the truth and put their reputation at risk for it.

No comments: