Padua

League councillor calls for black minister's 'rape'

Padua local politician says Kyenge should know what victim feels

League councillor calls for black minister's 'rape'

Padua, June 13 - A local councillor for the anti-immigrant Northern League on Thursday called for Italy's first black cabinet member, 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 can feel," 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 on an Italian woman. 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. 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 remarks nonetheless. The League lobbies for greater autonomy for Italy's wealthier northern regions and frequently adopts extreme stances on migration issues.

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