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Italy’s Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said on Thursday that “unimaginable threats” were becoming a daily routine, after a far-right party used bloody mannequins to call for her resignation.
“Insults, provocations, unimaginable threats are sliding dangerously into a daily routine not fit for OUR ITALY!” the minister said on Twitter.
Insulti, provocazioni, minacce oltre ogni immaginazione scivolando pericolosamente verso una triste routine non degna della NOSTRA ITALIA!
— Cécile Kyenge (@ckyenge) September 5, 2013
The statement came hours after photographs of three bloody mannequins appeared on Facebook, described as “A blitz by New Force [Forza Nuova] against the visit of Minister Kyenge to Ostia”.
Flyers scattered around the mannequins read: “Immigration is genocide of the people. Kyenge resign!” According to the group, the mannequins were left on the doorsteps of the town hall in the seaside town Ostia, close to Rome.
Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome, turned to Twitter to express his disgust at the images: “Actions like those of New Force in Ostia are not fit for a civil country. Shame!”
Ho invitato Cécile Kyenge in Campidoglio. Azioni come quella di Forza Nuova a Ostia non sono degne di un paese civile. Vergogna!
— Ignazio Marino (@ignaziomarino) September 4, 2013
But the anti-immigration party defended itself on Facebook, saying that as Catholics, members of the group were “far from racial prejudice”.
The group instead accused Kyenge of using words “brimming with racism” towards European culture.
The anti-immigration party had led an aggressive campaign against the minister since she came into office in April.
In July nooses were hung around the city of Pescara ahead of a visit by Kyenge, carrying slogans such as “Immigration, the noose of the people!”
Kyenge, who is of Congolese origin, has also fallen victim to attacks by other far-right groups including the Northern League (Lega Nord).
Senator Roberto Calderoli also likened the minister to an orangutan at a Northern League rally in July. He is currently being investigated for defamation over the insult, but has kept his job.
An investigation is also underway into a “Kill Kyenge” Facebook post by a politician in the Veneto region, the latest in a number of online threats made against the minister.
– The Local