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Racism in Italy. The hunt has begun

by EveryOne Group Monday, Feb. 09, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Increased incidents of racism and xenophobia, some of them characterized by unprecedented violence"

Racism in Italy -The hunt has begun

From: El Pais - February 1, 2009 -Reportaje: Xenofobia en Italia - La cacería ha empezado

By Miguel Mora

[...] The Civil Liberties Committee of Parliament, who visited in September, the situation of Roma in Italy, has approved a devastating 23-page report that summarizes the situation in three phrases: "Increased incidents of racism and xenophobia, some of them characterized by unprecedented violence," sense of growing unease and insecurity "and" very poor reception conditions.

The document, submitted by the committee chairman, Gerard Deprez, and adopted by 35 votes to 12, accuses the media and institutions to deal with migration "exaggerated dramatization and exasperated," what helps "keep the alarm was created to justify the package of security and emergency ordinances.

The findings, compiled by the European Parliament after meeting with Italian parliamentarians, the Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, NGOs, Red Cross and UNHCR, stressed that "the conditions of nomadic people have always been undervalued by the public authorities and are now seriously committed."

It acknowledges some positive steps, including interventions to improve living conditions in the slums of the camps, including the Casilino 900, which has existed for 35 years to 10 kilometers from Rome.

Two Italian parliamentarians, Angelilli, of the National Alliance, and Mario Borghezio, the League presented an opinion claiming that the phrase "draw a demeaning and unrealistic picture of the situation and express a political opinion rather than instrumental help solving problems."

Everyone The NGO, which has among its members people with gypsies, says that "Italy is an ongoing political and media campaign to criminalize the Roma people and agree a large number of brutal evictions, intimidation, expulsions of fact and law entire families, and judicial abuses."

In recent days, three violations, committed in Primavalle a neighborhood on the outskirts of Rome, another in the nearby city of Guidonia, and the third in Piacenza, north of the country have shocked the public and triggered again the indiscriminate hunting of Gypsies, Romanians.

Italy is the European country most wary before immigrants and gypsies, according to international surveys, and again reacted to the horror facing the usual suspects. "Furia inhumane. We are combing the Roma camps," the headline on Wednesday the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

After the violations have been raids day and night in the camps near the facts. Five hundred and twenty people arrested filed for reasons unrelated to the facts. In contrast, there has been not arrested for the attacks against immigrants.

Guidonia on Saturday of last week, a group of far-right youths attacked nine foreigners, on Tuesday, a mob tried to lynch six Romanian citizens detained as suspects.

The previous night, when police still looking for the perpetrators, the agency Ansa rebounded these statements by the Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, a television RAI 1: "The data breaches in Italy are attributable to a 58% Italian and 9% Romanians. In Rome, the situation is different: 35% 31% Italians and Romanians. The difference is explained by the high concentration. In May we will end up with illegal encampments of nomads." The latest official statistics from 2007 show, however, that 90% of sexual crimes are attributable to Italian citizens and only 10% to foreigners.

"The suspects in the gruesome gang rape of a young woman of 21 years in Guidonia were, in fact, Romanians, but not Roma. Interior just announced this on Thursday, 48 hours after the arrests," he remembers everyone. By then, most of the media [took it for] for granted that the perpetrators were gypsies.

The logic voltage of the government, attacked by the opposition, which in turn was denigrated as ineffective on the right, has led some ministers to ignore even the presumption of innocence. Following one of the suspects confessed their involvement in acts of Guidonia after being interrogated all night, the Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, said: "Fulfill the sentence in Romania."

Just hours after the news spread the news of the rape of Primavalle (Roma), committed by "two foreigners", a gang of youths destroyed several huts in the camp of the district. Racist graffiti appeared. Then the security forces "[..] completed work on the street and left 50 people, including more patients and more than 20 children." "As often happens," concludes Malini, "his only fault was to be a gypsy and live near the crime scene."

It was learned last Thursday, the city of Rome has destroyed 124 nomadic settlements over the past nine weeks.

(Translated from Spanish by Roma Rights Network)

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