Italy's first black minister 'vindicated' by racist slurs verdict

Italy's first black minister 'vindicated' by racist slurs verdict

Italy's first black minister has said she feels "vindicated" after winning a four-year court battle against a far-right MEP who made repeated racist slurs against her.

Mario Borghezio has been order to pay Cecile Kyenge 50,000 euros ($55,690; ?42,895) by a court in Milan.

Among other comments, Borghezio said she "took away a job from an Italian doctor" in a 2013 radio interview.

The Northern League MEP must also pay Ms Kyenge's legal fees.

Borghezio - who was briefly suspended by his party in 2011 for saying he agreed with parts of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik's manifesto - reportedly said he would lose his house following the ruling.


However, Ms Kyenge, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, told the BBC's Newsday radio programme: "At the end of the day this is a strong message against impunity. those who believe there is no justice should think twice.

"Through this verdict the younger generations have also learned that a civilised society is based on mutual respect, and zero tolerance for discrimination."

Italy's first black minister 'vindicated' by racist slurs verdict

Ms Kyenge, who trained as an ophthalmologist in Italy, found herself subject to abuse after she was named as integration minister in 2013 - including having bananas thrown at her during a political rally and being compared to an orang-utan.

She was provided with police protection, but decided to pursue Borghezio through the courts after the 2013 interview, in which he also said "Africans are Africans and belong to an ethnic group very different from ours".

He had previously said she wanted to "bring her tribal traditions to Italy", according to local media.

Ms Kyenge, who is now an MEP herself, said: "Italy has become a country of immigration, things have changed so quickly now many Italians have not been able to adjust to the new environment, many cannot cope with communities which look different."

However, she also told the BBC the support she had received since proved "Italy is not a racist country".



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
US might extend cabin laptop ban worldwide, top official says

US might extend cabin laptop ban worldwide, top official says..

28-May, 13:01

The authorities in the US are still considering banning laptops from...

Boy, 16, attacked with knife in Manchester 'hate crime'

Boy, 16, attacked with knife in Manchester 'hate crime'..

28-May, 07:17

A 16-year-old boy has been attacked with a knife at a leisure centre in...

Gray matter density increases during adolescence, study finds

Gray matter density increases during adolescence, study finds..

28-May, 21:51

For years, the common narrative in human developmental neuroimaging has...

Man shot in Bangor supermarket car park

Man shot in Bangor supermarket car park..

28-May, 11:48

A man has been shot in a supermarket car park in Bangor, County Down. It...

In Sweden, 8 held in aggravated child porn case

In Sweden, 8 held in aggravated child porn case..

17-Feb, 05:02

Swedish prosecutors say eight men have been detained on suspicion of...

Suspected Kashmir rebels kidnap and kill Indian army officer

Suspected Kashmir rebels kidnap and kill Indian army officer..

10-May, 03:57

Kashmiri militants kidnapped and shot dead an Indian army officer who was...

Fox stock gains ground following O'Reilly firing

Fox stock gains ground following O'Reilly firing..

20-Apr, 14:40

Shares of Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, are gaining ground...

Centene and Emerson Electric Rise While Michael Kors Drops

Centene and Emerson Electric Rise While Michael Kors Drops..

07-Feb, 19:04

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Tuesday: Michael...