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Italy. Roberto Malini receives threats

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Human rights defender and contributor, Roberto Malini, was approached by unknown individuals who threatened him on 22 November 2010 in Treviglio (Bergamo), where he currently resides.

Further Information

Roberto Malini is co-president of EveryOne Group,  a human rights organisation supporting Roma people and refugees in Italy. Front Line issued an urgent appeal in relation, respectively, to the sentencing in February 2010 of Roberto Malini and his colleague Dario Picciau for 'disturbing a police operation', and to other charges brought against Roberto Malini, Dario Picciau and Matteo Pegoraro in July 2010.

On 22 November 2010 in Treviglio, two unknown individuals travelling in a grey car approached Roberto Malini, who was walking on the footpath. The men, both approximately between 35 and 40 years old, stopped the car and threatened him as follows: “Be very careful! We are watching you: you, your negros and your gypsies”. A woman walking a dog then approached from behind and the two men left.

Roberto Malini and other members of EveryOne reported being followed and having received similar acts of intimidation on numerous occasions, in particular in the city of Pesaro where the group was very active. However, this is the first time such an instance occurs in Treviglio, where Roberto Malini now resides. This element suggests that he may be followed or subject to surveillance.

This episode occurred on the same day of EveryOne Group's intervention in a national radio programme and on newspapers on the treatment of refugees and on discrimination against Roma people in Italy.

Three judicial proceedings against EveryOne Group remain pending, all of which are related to their work in support of Roma people. In February 2010 they were sentenced to a prison term commuted into a fine for disturbing a police operation. The hearing on the opposition to the 'penal decree' upon which they were sentenced is scheduled for 17 February 2011.

Proceedings remain pending against the group for 'falsely accusing others of the commission of a crime' in relation to a letter where they denounced an alleged discriminatory decision of the Pesaro social services against a Roma family. Proceedings for defamation initiated by an hospital in Pesaro in relation to the group's denunciation of an alleged denial of health care to a Roma woman also remain pending.

Dec. 7, 2010

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