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CRIME

Italy makes ‘revenge porn’ a crime

Italian MPs unanimously approved a new law on Tuesday criminalizing the unsolicited sharing of compromising erotic pictures or video, known as "revenge porn".

Italy makes 'revenge porn' a crime
In Italy, sharing compromising pictures is now punishable by up to six years in jail. File photo: Jung Jeon-Je/AFP

The offence will be punishable by between one and six years in jail, and fines of up to €15,000.

The proposal was put forward by the rightwing opposition party Forza Italia of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. It is part of a reform bill dubbed “Code Red”, which aims to give greater protection to victims of violence and stalking.

READ ALSO: Italy considers harsher sentences for attacks on women

Italy's ruling populist coalition — made up of the hard-right League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) — had largely rejected the revenge porn proposal last Thursday, arguing it wanted a special law targeting the issue rather than making it part of the “code red” reform.

The move had sparked anger in the assembly and the discussion of the text had to be postponed after opposition members both from the left and right staged a protest.

Discussions were relaunched on Tuesday and the amendments eventually approved by all political sides.

READ ALSO: Italy just made it easier to claim self-defence if you hurt or kill an intruder

“Reason has won. If we voted yes today, it was solely thanks to the protest of opposition parties,” Forza Italia lawmaker Mara Carfagna said following the vote.

Meanwhile, the League party was forced to drop a suggested change seeking the voluntary chemical castration of sexual violence perpetrators after the M5S fiercely opposed the proposal.

Under the proposal, a person found guilty of sexual violence could have opted for reversible medical castration instead of going to jail.

READ ALSO: Italy's Salvini calls for chemical castration for alleged rapists of American au pair


Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

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BOLOGNA

Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.

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