Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
PADUA

League councillor calls for Kyenge rape +rpt+

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)

Padua, June 13 - A local councillor on Thursday
became the latest member of the anti-immigrant Northern League
to attack Italy's first black cabinet member by calling for
Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge to be raped.
"(Why) doesn't anyone ever rape her in order (for her) to
understand what the victim of this heinous crime feels?" Dolores
Valandro, a councillor for a Padua district, said on her
Facebook page under a photo of Kyenge.
Valandro, who was suspended by the League recently over
internal disputes, was commenting on an article on a website
about an alleged rape by an African man of an Italian woman.
Kyenge said the remarks did not merit a response.
"I won't answer because each of us should feel offended,"
she said.
"This type of talk instigates violence against all
citizens.
"Everyone should feel offended, not just me".
Massimo Bitonci, the League's whip in the Senate, condemned
the "violent, stupid" comments, said he would take disciplinary
action against Valandro and added that he had told her to remove
the remarks from her Facebook profile and apologise.
The head of the party later announced Valandro would be
expelled from the party for her remarks.
"I don't know this councillor. I spoke with (the regional
party head) who said she'll be kicked out," said Roberto Maroni,
who is also the governor of the northern Lombardy region.
Several Northern League members have made offensive
comments about Kyenge since she was sworn in as part of Premier
Enrico Letta's left-right government in April.
Kyenge, a 48-year-old doctor who was born in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, moved to Italy three decades ago to study
medicine.
Her appointment prompted a series of ethnic slurs from
Mario Borghezio, a member of the Northern League in the European
Parliament, who claimed Kyenge would "impose her tribal
traditions from the Congo" on Italy.
He later apologized, but the EFD Eurosceptics group in the
European Parliament kicked him out for his comments
nevertheless.
The League's second-in-command, Matteo Salvini, has
attacked Kyenge several times since her swearing-in, saying that
"having a former illegal immigrant as a minister can only happen
in Italy, and it's making a laughing stock of us".
The League lobbies for greater autonomy for Italy's
wealthier northern regions and frequently adopts extreme stances
on migration issues.

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