Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
SASSARI

Sardinian independence activist freed

English
© ANSA

Sassari, February 18 - A Sardinian independence
activist returned home Sunday night after three days of apparent
maltreatment in the custody of a murky rival group on the
Italian island.
Police said Salvatore 'Doddore' Meloni "was seen staggering
home with chains around his neck and covered in bruises" after
his kidnapping Thursday by self-styled 'Guardians of the
Nations' who wanted him to pull his ticket from February 24-25
elections.
Meloni later told reporters "two masked men pointed a gun at
my head and forced me to get into a powerful car heading for
Cagliari," the Sardinian capital.
Meloni disappeared near his home in the central-western town
of Oristano Thursday evening, prompting authorities to launch an
anti-kidnapping operation across the Italian island to the west
of Tuscany and Lazio.
Police said they were unable to verify the authenticity
leaflet claiming responsibility for the disappearance, found in
Meloni's abandoned car, from the Guardians of the Nation, a
previously unknown group.
Meloni, 69, is a former truck driver who attempted to create
a 'micro-nation' called the Republic of Maluentu after seizing
the small barren islet of Mal Di Ventre off Oristano in 2008.
Maluentu is Sardinian for Mal di Ventre.
Meloni and his followers, claiming inspiration from
secessionist movements in Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia,
declared it to be an independent state as part of broader
efforts by larger groups to win the independence of Sardinia.
He declared himself president and set up an official
residence in a blue plastic tent, saying the isle was tax-free.
Meloni claimed over 300 had people expressed interest in
moving to Maluentu, which was previously a meeting place for the
Sardinian Independence Party.
In the summer of 2012 Salvatore Meloni and five others were
convicted of the illegal seizure of land.
Mal di Ventre is now owned by British entrepreneur John
Miller.

© Riproduzione riservata

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