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Some 2,000 journalists gathered on Thursday in Rome's Piazza Navonna to protest the government's cuts to culture sectors and the so called gag law.
The law was proposed after leaks of wiretaps to the media criminally implicated or otherwise embarrassed top officials, including premier, Silvio Berlusconi. He claims the law is to safeguard the privacy of all citizens.
But, demonstrators allege it's an attempt by the government to gag the media through legislation that critics say would hurt press freedom.
The protesting journalists were joined by the nation's magistrates, as the proposed law would both limit investigators’ability to tap phones and trace calls during criminal investigations. It would also punish journalists who print information from such calls. The journalists have pledged a news blackout on July 9th.
|Demonstrators protest against a proposed government bill that they |
consider a threat to the free flow of information in Italy, during
a rally in Rome,Thursday, July 1, 2010. Striking magistrates added
their weight to a demonstration by journalists against a proposed
law that would both limit investigators' ability to tap phones and
trace calls during criminal investigations as well as punish
journalists who print information from such calls.(AP Photo/Pier