Italian journalist under attack for criticising NGO rescue boat

Freedom of speech and expression under threat in the Italian University of Trento. A movement of left-wing students tried to boycott a conference with Fausto Biloslavo, one of Italy’s most prominent war reporters. He was supposed to give his testimony of the war in Libya and the current migration crisis during the conference organized by the faculty of Sociology. Some students and other left-wing activists first decided to block the entrance of the journalist, and screamed and made noise during the conference outside the room, making it problematic for speakers to continue their interventions. They also broke the door of the room. The protestors blamed Biloslavo for writing different articles strongly criticizing the NGO rescue boats that are rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The Dean of the University of Trento insisted to have the conference even if it had been cancelled just five days earlier due to security reasons. The University also put up a banner quoting Italian philosopher Norberto Bobbio saying: “I learned to respect other people’s idea, to understand before arguing, and to argue before condemning.”

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