Italy’s intelligence services warn of increasing violence against immigrants
On March 3, 2019 Russian «The Details» website, citing the Israeli «Walla», published that attacks on migrants and minorities could rise in the run-up to May’s European elections. Looking for the sources, we found out that it is mostly reprinted from “The Guardian” article “Italy’s intelligence agency warns of rise in racist attacks”. It is says that: “Separate figures from the anti-racist organisation Lunaria, which publishes quarterly reports on the number of racially motivated attacks in Italy, counted 126 physical attacks, especially against migrants, in 2018. It had recorded 27 racially motivated attacks in 2016 and 46 in 2017″.
Also we have found the “Al Jazeera” article from 07.08.2018 with similar content, saying that: “…Lunaria keeps a record of racist incidents and violence and publishes regular reports. From January 1 to March 31, the organisation counted 169 incidents ranging from physical violence to someone being refused medical assistance by a doctor, based on the victim’s ethnicity”. As the article was published in 2018 we can say that the number of victims was counted in the period from January 1 to March 31 of 2018. It’s interesting that both articles mentioned one organisation – Lunaria and one person – Grazia Naletto (who heads the anti-racist watchdog Cronache di Ordinario Razzismo (Chronicles of Ordinary Racism), part of the NGO Lunaria), who provided the information.
It is worth to notice that “The Guardian” is saying about “126 physical attacks, especially against migrants, in 2018” and “Al Jazeera” is saying about 169 “incidents ranging from physical violence to someone being refused medical assistance by a doctor” in three months of 2018 (from January to March) – much more than “The Guardian”. We wrote Grazia Naletto’s Facebook page, asking to send a link to the reports that Lunaria provides quarterly on the number of racially motivated attacks in Italy, but received no answer. Also we didn’t find this reports at the Lunaria website. Maybe “The Guardian” was counting only physical attacks, when people were needed medical assistance, and “Al Jazeera” is not – it is unclear.
The third material with the similar content – “Italian anti-racism groups warn of rapid increase in attacks”, by “The Irish Times” from 03.08.2019 (also mentioned Lunaria and Grazia Naletto), saying that “Anti-racist groups in Italy have warned of a dangerous acceleration in attacks on immigrants after 11 shootings, two murders and 32 physical assaults were recorded in the two months since Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, entered government as interior minister”. We have found that “The Guardian” later will use the same wording: “Lunaria’s figures from 2018 recorded 12 shootings, two murders and 33 physical assaults against migrants in the first two months since Salvini entered government”, with only difference: per unit increased the quantity of shootings and murders.
Despite inaccuracies, after analysing the data of the Russian and international media, but not seeing the official reports, we come to the conclusion that in Italy, indeed, the number of racially motivated crimes has increased over last 2 years. We also see the desire to put the blame for that on Matteo Salvini.
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© Arina Marficyna, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk