ROME, June 11 Italys left-leaning La Repubblica daily on Friday ran an all-white front page to protest a bill curbing police wiretaps and setting hefty fines on media for publishing transcripts of them.

“The muzzling law denies citizens the right to be informed,” reads a message, styled as a yellow Post-It note, on the otherwise blank space under the La Repubblica banner.

Slamming the bill approved by the Senate on Thursday as “violence” against democracy, La Repubblica editor-in-chief Ezio Mauro wrote “The wiretap law is in reality a law on freedom, the freedom to find evidence of crimes through the procedures of all civilised countries.” He said “The gagging law decides for us, and decides according to the wishes of the government, what we should know, what we can write.” The Turin daily La Stampa ran a similar if less splashy protest, leaving two regular features blank, including one at the foot of the front page.

One of the bills provisions — heavily criticised by legal and police authorities — is the requirement that a three-judge panel approve successive three-day extensions to an initial 75-day warrant for wiretaps.

The bill also calls for fines of up to 450,000 euros ($545,000) for the publication of transcripts of wiretaps in the media.

The measure exempts mafia and terrorism investigations from the restrictions.—AFP

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...