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August 9, 2022



Italy: Romani people attacked in Naples

Naples, 16.10.2013 21:58, (ROMEA)
On 15 October 2013 in Naples, Italy a woman poured acid onto a Romani infant sitting in this stroller. (PHOTO: repro
On 15 October 2013 in Naples, Italy a woman poured acid onto a Romani infant sitting in this stroller. (PHOTO: repro

The situation for Romani residents of Naples is deteriorating. On 15 October press agencies reported on an alleged “accident” in which acid was spilled onto a Romani child and his mother from a balcony above them.

The incident occurred in the Fuorigrotta area of Naples. The press reported that non-Romani residents of Naples responded to the incident, tried to help the victims, and had bitter remarks to make about the alleged perpetrator, affirming that this was not the first time the Romani lady and her child had been targeted by this same person, who had previously thrown all kinds of things at them from her balcony, from toilet paper rolls to bleach.

One of the locals interviewed said this was the first time that acid had been thrown. Other residents of the same apartment building said no one else had any complaints about their Romani neighbor, whom they described as polite.

According to some press agencies, the alleged perpetrator is claiming that what happened was an accident, but eyewitnesses claim it was deliberate. The child was taken to hospital; reportedly his clothing was damaged in the incident.

On 12 October another alarming article directly quoted a social worker with a local pro-Roma organization, who has recently published an essay about the Romani community, as saying the following:

For Romanian Romani men, prostitution is normal; if it’s Slavs instead, the situation becomes alarming because this takes place within the context of pedophilia. And the fact that their mothers favor this is even worse.”

The article reports that the social worker claimed that Romani minors are first being sexually abused in their own homes (by their uncles, for example) and are then “lent” to people outside the family to provide sexual services for money. Wives and sisters are said to be encouraged to prostitute themselves as well.This is said to be new to the Giugliano camp, which until recently has been inhabited predominantly by Romani people from the former Yugoslavia.

Finally, on 3 October Corriere del Mezzogiorno reported that local non-Romani people in the Ponticelli area of Naples threw stones at a 22-year-old Romani man. According to the press, when the Romani man ran towards his attackers, he headed in the same direction as two local children, who screamed, prompting the mistaken belief among others that he was attempting to kidnap or otherwise harm the children. He was beaten up before the matter was clarified.

These are not the first such incidents of violence against Romani people in Naples in recent years. In 2008, Romani camps were set on fire in Ponticelli and a Romani minor was accused of having attempted to kidnap a local non-Romani child. Camps in Scampia were attacked during the summer of 1999.



Elisabetta Vivaldi
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