Mario Spezi arrested

Some weeks ago, along with many others, I posted about thriller writer Douglas Preston’s legal troubles in Italy which led to his detainment and the threat of charges against himself and his writing partner, journalist Mario Spezi. Well the news has worsened, as Spezi has been arrested on charges of  slander and defamation, disturbing the public order, and obstructing  a criminal investigation, according to press accounts.

Preston’s statement appears here, and Angolo Nero links to Italian coverage of Spezi’s arrest here. But the final words Preston writes bear repetition:

I ask all of you, please, for the love of truth and freedom of the press, come to Spezi’s aid. This should not be happening in the beautiful and civilized country that I love, the country that gave the world Galileo and the Renaissance. Many of you belong to organizations such as PEN or other writer’s organizations that could bring pressure to bear. Others of you have blogs that could spread the news.

Letters (always respectful in tone) should be addressed to:

Roberto Castelli
Il Ministro della Giustizia
Via Arenula, 70
00186 Roma

Giuseppe Pisanu
Il Ministro dell’Interno
Piazzale Viminale
00184 Roma

Italians care a great deal what Americans think. I have seen early press reports in Italy and much of it is filled with dismay at this treatment of one of Italy’s most respected journalists. This is not   “business as usual” in Italy and it can be reversed, if we make a big  enough noise.

Hear, hear.