Italy / Criminal Court of Padua / Sentence no. 1615

Country

ItalyItaly

Title

Italy / Criminal Court of Padua / Sentence no. 1615

View full Case

Year

2013

Decision/ruling/judgment date

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crime type(s) concerned/related

Incitement to violence or hatred

Related hate bias motivation

Race Ethnic origin

Groups affected

Foreigners

Court/Body type

National Court

Court/Body

Criminal Court of Padua

Key facts of the case

A female district council member from the Northern League party in the municipality of Padua, posted on her Facebook page the following comment, under a photo of the Minister of Integration Cecile Kyenge (who is of Congolese origin): “But is there no one there who could rape her, just to let her understand how a victim of such a ferocious crime could feel? Shame!”. The comment had been posted after reading a report on a blog alleging that an African man had attempted to rape an Italian woman.

Main reasoning/argumentation

The accused argued that there was no offensive or racist intent in her comment and that her reaction was due to a similar episode her daughter had suffered in the past from a ‘non-Italian’. The judges considered the defence irrelevant and contradictory. The statement itself and the behaviour of the woman during trial showed that her post was motivated by racist-hatred. The defendant had not been able to explain in what other way the alleged attempted rape by a Somali man was connected to the Minister except for the only reason that the minister shares with the man a vague and rather imprecise geographical origin and skin colour.

Is the case related to the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive?

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case

Incitement to rape and violence do not require the crime to be committed against the targeted person in order to be effective. The means used and the context in which the statement was made clearly demonstrate instigation; the comment was posted on Facebook and was followed by many other racist messages.

Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case

The defendant was convicted for violating art 1 (1) lett (b) of Mancino law.

Key quotation in original language and translated into English with reference details

"Non è in conseguenza possibile alcuna interpretazione alternativa a quella di un preciso pregiudizio razzista estrinsecandosi in un invito esplicito allo stupro nei confronti della ministra in quanto “meritevole” di ciò per le sole circostanze, da un lato di condividere con il personaggio di Genova una (vaga e pure imprecisa) provenienza geografica e il colore della pelle e, dall'altro e in forza del suo ruolo pubblico, di rappresentare tutti i componenti di tale razza”

"No other interpretation is consequently possible other than that of a precise racist prejudice expressed in an explicit invitation to rape the minister who «deserved» such act for the only reason that she shares with the man in Genova a (vague and rather imprecise) geographical origin and skin colour ... and, in view of her public role, she represented all the members of that “race”. "

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