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Italy: 'Racist' beating in Rome on the increase

03-10-2008

Rome, (ANSA): A Chinese immigrant was beaten up by a group of teenagers in Rome Thursday, the latest in a series of apparently racist attacks.

An eye witness told police the 25-year-old, who does not speak Italian, was on his way home in a working-class Rome suburb when he was surrounded by the group of five or six who allegedly shouted racist slurs before breaking his nose and inflicting other injuries.

Police said the same group attacked two 30-year-old Ivory Coast immigrants last week after shouting racist insults.

''These individuals must be tracked down and punished,'' said Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno.

Italian human rights groups and the Catholic Church have been sounding the alarm over what they say is growing intolerance of immigrants in Italian society.

Earlier this week a case in Parma made headlines when a young student from Ghana was allegedly beaten up by traffic police who reportedly mistook him for a drugs pusher.

Last month an immigrant from Burkina Faso was killed by a Milan shopkeeper who allegedly beat him to death with an iron bar after hurling racist insults, claiming he had stolen a packet of biscuits.

The death brought thousands of African immigrants onto the streets in protest.

Earlier last month the African community in Castel Volturno near Naples rioted after the Camorra mafia mowed down three Ghanaians, two Togo nationals and a Liberian.

A poll of readers of the left-leaning newsopaper La Repubblica on Thursday found 86% agreeing with the proposition that Italy has ''a racism emergency''.


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