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Anti-Immigration Rape Video Posted by Italy’s Frontrunner Giorgia Meloni Pulled by Twitter

Alberto Lingria/Reuters
Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Twitter has pulled a controversial blurred video of an asylum-seeker sexually assaulting a Ukrainian woman that was posted by the woman likely to be elected as prime minister of Italy next month. Giorgia Meloni, who leads the Brothers of Italy party—which proudly boasts Fascist symbols in its logo—posted the video as part of a campaign promise to “secure the cities.”

The blurred video, which does not reveal the identities of the victim or suspect but which has full audio that includes the woman’s cries for help, drew scorn from her political opponents and praise from her center-right coalition partners Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini, whose own anti-immigrant stance has drawn condemnation from human-rights groups. Salvini is facing a kidnapping trial for blocking a rescue boat of asylum-seekers in the sea under scorching temperatures while he was serving as interior minister between 2018 and 2019.

The video was shot by someone in an apartment above the sidewalk where the incident happened, and it first appeared on a newspaper website before Meloni re-posted it as part of her campaign.

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Meloni leads a center-right coalition that looks to handily win snap elections on Sept. 25 after the dramatic fall of Mario Draghi’s government in July. The populist coalition has campaigned on Trump-style conservative promises, including a strong anti-immigration platform and hints that abortion rights could be diminished if they win.

The far-right leader has been a frequent speaker at the U.S. conservative conference C-PAC, where she has shared the stage with Viktor Orban of Hungary. She is also close to Steve Bannon, who headlined her conservative conference in Italy before the pandemic and with whom she campaigned in the last election.

If elected, Meloni would be the first female prime minister in Italy.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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