Sign in | Log in

Nobel Winners Come Out for Saviano

Nobel Winners Come Out for Saviano

George De Stefano (October 21, 2008)
Roberto Saviano

The Italian government must protect the "Gomorra" author, said six Nobel Prize winners this week


In my I-Italy op-ed, “Rushdie on Saviano: Camorra’s fatwa worse than Khomeini’s,” I quoted Italian journalist Giuseppe D’Avanzo’s claim that anti-camorra author Roberto Saviano was “a man alone.”  But no more. Since the news broke that gangsters from Casal di Principe had marked him for death, there has been a heartening outpouring of support for the embattled author of Gomorra.

This week six Nobel Prize winners issued a joint statement deploring the threats against Saviano’s life and demanding that the Italian government protect the journalist and crack down on those who threaten him.

“The [Italian] State must do all in its power to protect him and to defeat the camorra,” the signatories declared. “But the case of Saviano is not only a police problem. It is a problem of democracy. The secure liberty of Saviano matters to all of us, as citizens…we call on the State to assume its responsibility, because it is intolerable that this can happen in Europe in 2008.”

The appeal was signed by two Italian winners of the Nobel prize, playwright-actor Dario Fo and medical researcher Rita Levi Montalcini, as well as former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev, German author Gunter Grass, the South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Turkish author Orhan Pamuk.

La Repubblica posted the statement at its website and invited its readers to sign it. As of today (Tuesday, October 21), there were more than 140,000 signatures, from Italy and abroad. The signatories include such well-known authors as Martin Amis, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Jose Saramago and Chuck Palahniuk.  

Other newspapers, including Spain’s El Paìs and France’s Nouvel Observateur, have published the appeal since it appeared in Repubblica.

La Repubblica had closed the online petition but will re-open it. Check the homepage of the paper’s website and add your name.


DISCLAIMER: Posts published in i-Italy are intended to stimulate a debate in the Italian and Italian-American Community and sometimes deal with controversial issues. The Editors are not responsible for, nor necessarily in agreement with the views presented by individual contributors.
This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior written permission.
Questo lavoro non può essere riprodotto, in tutto o in parte, senza permesso scritto.