Italian anti-mafia author Roberto Saviano did not mince his words on February 12. He said he would not allow himself to be “intimidated” by his country’s far-right interior minister, who has threatened to revoke his police protection.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini last year threatened to lift the police watch for Saviano – one of his most virulent critics.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Saviano has lived under armed guard since publishing his international bestseller “Gomorrah” in 2006.
Speaking at the Berlin film festival where the movie he wrote “Piranhas” premiered, Saviano said he would not be cowed.
“I am staying calm. I continue to do what I do. I will continue to tell what’s happening, I will not let myself be intimidated by the threats made systematically by the Italian interior minister,” he told reporters.
“You have to understand what’s happening right now in Italy. There are some very serious things happening.”
According to AFP, Saviano noted that his police protection, while essential, was a serious inconvenience to his life.
“Beyond the question of my personal security, the police escort is not a privilege – it’s a nightmare to have to be escorted,” he said. “There are dozens of journalists under protection in Italy and in Europe. Europe is no longer a safe place for those who tell what is happening.”