A court in Sicily ruled on Thursday that Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini can be charged with kidnapping after he prevented a boatload of African illegal aliens from disembarking from an Italian coast guard ship in August. “I could face between three and 15 years in prison for having stopped illegal migrants landing in Italy. I’m speechless. Fear? Zero. I’ll continue to work to defend my country’s borders and Italians’ safety!”
DW Prosecutors in Sicily say Interior Minister Matteo Salvini held 177 illegal migrants hostage by stranding them on a ship. The European Council has expressed concern about xenophobia in Italy. #SaliviniNonMollare (“Salvini, don’t give up”) was the top trending hashtag on Italian Twitter, and many of the tweets were English-language posts declaring solidarity with Italian nationalists.
The charges against the interior minister were launched by prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Catania, (where Salvini has had several Mafiosos locked up for profiting from the human traffickers) off the Italian vessel Ubaldo Diciotti, which had rescued them (from human traffickers) in the Mediterranean. After nearly a week trapped on the boat, Ireland, Albania, and the Catholic Church agreed to resettle the illegal refugees.
Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister, has pursued a series of hard-line immigration policies that went into effect in December, known as “Salvini’s decree.” Part of the new laws include the shuttering of Italy’s refugee centers and mass deportations.