Trieste

Kyenge shows appreciation for UN stance on racial slurs

Italy's first black minister likened to orangutan by Senator

Kyenge shows appreciation for UN stance on racial slurs

Trieste, July 19 - Italy's first black minister expressed her appreciation of the United Nations' Friday for slamming a recent description of her by a leading Italian politician in which she was likened to an orangutan. "There are norms, there are penalties, there are a series of regulations and laws also to protect those who work in public office. I believe we also need to give ourselves these rules," said Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge. The United Nations on Friday said it was "absolutely shocking" that Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli had likened Kyenge to an orangutan. Since insulting Kyenge over the weekend, Calderoli has been pressured to resign by politicians from both the right and the left. But his own party, the anti-immigrant Northern League, has rallied around him, chiding critics for what they regard as a lack of a sense of humor. Prosecutors are investigating Calderoli for aggravated defamation and incitement of racial hatred. While he is only the latest member of the League to make racial slurs against Congolese-born Kyenge since her appointment in April, he is the highest profile, having served as a minister in a government of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi.

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