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by EveryOne Group
Saturday, May. 17, 2008 at 6:43 PM
The case of Angelica, the Roma teenager accused of attempting to kidnap a six-month-old baby in Naples, in the Ponticelli district, is a hoax.
Anti-gypsy sentiments out of control in Italy. The truth about the “kidnapping” in Naples.
The case of Angelica, the Roma teenager accused of attempting to kidnap a six-month-old baby in Naples, in the Ponticelli district, is a hoax. The version given by authorities and media is false. EveryOne Group has made an in-depth investigation into the episode that has triggered off an authentic “gypsy hunt” - which from Naples has spread like wildfire to the rest of Italy. “Right from the beginning the dynamics of the kidnapping appeared unconvincing, because those who are familiar with the building the crime supposedly took place in, know that it is practically inaccessible, both because of the gate and because of the careful surveillance by the building’s tenants,” say the leaders of EveryOne, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau.
“There are also discrepancies between the versions given by Mrs Martinelli, her father and the neighbours. When questioned the woman first declared that the door to her apartment had been forced, later she remembered leaving it open. After realising that the door was open, she went to check the baby’s cot and then returned to the landing where she caught – after at least twenty seconds had gone by – the young Roma girl with the baby in her arms. And not only that: she had time to catch up with her and snatch the baby away from her. Therefore the gypsy girl must have moved in slow motion, enabling the baby’s grandfather, Ciro, to catch up with her on the floor below, grab her and slap her. Some of the neighbours told the authorities that Angelica was still carrying the baby when they blocked her. And that’s not all, because in the days before this episode, the tenants of the building had got together several times with one item on their agenda: how to get rid of the gypsy families in the Ponticelli camp”. After careful analysis, EveryOne Group – who are able to count on activists and local organizations – carried out further checks, both on site and at the jail, where an official, after listening to the evidence that would clear the so-called child kidnapper admitted: “You’re right, it’s not easy for us either, because this case is not very different from many others but someone has transformed it into a nationwide case”.
The tenants of Ponticelli have closed ranks: they don’t want the Roma there any more. Some people, however, show signs of having a conscience, but are frightened to speak up, because a lot of pressure is being put on them and it is too dangerous to go against the Ponticelli “committee”. Angelica actually knew one of the families that live in Via Principe di Napoli, where the episode took place,” continue the activists of EveryOne. “She pressed the entryphone button and was spotted by some tenants. A few seconds later the trap was sprung and the fury of the tenants was unleashed on her – they caught up with her in the street, grabbed her, slapped her and handed her over to the police. There are witnesses who know the truth and two of them are willing to talk to the magistrate. It is important that Rosa Mazzei, the lawyer defending the Roma girl, does not allow herself to be intimidated and ensures the truth comes out in court.
One of the activists from Naples, however, imagines that her line of defence will be that of admitting to the theft but not to the kidnapping”. The consequences of the Ponticelli case (with the media reporting it in newspapers and TV networks) have been very serious - a clear indication of why it is necessary to abandon racism and xenophobia and rediscover the path of human rights “It is important that the local human rights organizations now watch over Angelica’s well-being, as she is subjected to intolerable and terrible pressure. Safeguarding the girl’s well-being means safeguarding the truth of the Ponticelli case, which is the tragic truth of yet another injustice, false accusations, other inhuman violence the Roma people in Italy are subjected to - people already hit by marginalization and segregation, persecuted by unjust measures”.
The activists of EveryOne conclude with some considerations that should lead people to reflect: “For years we have been sounding the alarm against the racist campaign underway in Italy. Thanks to the support of transnational political parties active in the field of human and civil rights we have obtained European Parliament Resolutions and guidelines from the United Nations which has reprimanded Italy for its racist policies. The Roma in Italy are not criminals, they are families living in conditions of great hardship. Out of the 150,000 “gypsies” present in our country, 90,000 are children. The average life expectancy of the Roma in Italy is 35 years, compared to the 80 years of the other citizens.
Infant mortality among Roma children is 15 times higher than that of other children. These figures are the result of persecution. As for crimes committed by Roma citizens, the figures are of little significance, as may be seen from the data published by the Ministry of the Interior, and assaults by Roma on Italian citizens are practically inexistent. The Giovanna Reggiani case was yet another deception, because the alleged murderer, Romulus Mailat is not a Roma at all, he is a Romanian of the Bunjas ethnic group which has no connection to the “gypsy” population. We informed the investigators and the media of this at the time but our dossier was ignored. Racism is a convenient decoy for a swarm of people, political parties, media, and organized crime, with an annual turnover of many billions of euros. On this point, we wish to point out that Roma citizens involved in crime are nearly always in the pay of the Italian Mafia, which – due to the conditions of hardship and segregation the “gypsies” live in – has reduced them to slavery. The authorities are aware of that, so are the politicians - and it is about time all Italians became aware of it”.
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