Tuesday 17 October 2017

Suspended sentence for politician who urged rape of black minister

Italian Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge gestures during a news conference in Rome
Italian Minister for Integration Cecile Kyenge gestures during a news conference in Rome

Naomi O'Leary

A local Italian politician who called for Italy's first black minister, the target of repeated racial slurs, to be raped was given a 13-month suspended sentence and banned from public office for three years today.

A Padua court found Dolores Valandro, a local councillor for regionalist party the Northern League, guilty of instigating sexual violence for racial reasons for her June Facebook post about Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge.

"Why doesn't anyone rape her, that way she will understand the experience of the victim of this bloody crime? Shame!" Valandro wrote last month above a photo of Kyenge and an article from an anti-immigrant website about an attempted rape by an African.

The regionalist Northern League party expelled Valandro for the post.

The public office ban does not come into effect until two appeals allowed by Italian law are exhausted, while the one-year-one-month sentence - towards the minimum for a crime that carries a penalty of between one and four years - means Valandro will not go to jail unless she re-offends.

Separately, prosecutors in Bergamo have opened a case file on senior Northern League Senator Roberto Calderoli on suspicion of racially-aggravated defamation after he said Kyenge looked like an orangutan, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

Kyenge, an eye doctor and Italian citizen who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has become a lightning rod for racist remarks since her appointment as Italy's first black minister in April, sparking debate in a country struggling to adapt to an increase in immigration over the last two decades.

Online Editors

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editors Choice

Also in World News