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Giorgia Meloni: Far-right leader criticised for posting video of woman's rape

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By Euronews
Giorgia Meloni is hoping to become Italy's first far-right premier and the first woman to hold that position.
Giorgia Meloni is hoping to become Italy's first far-right premier and the first woman to hold that position.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File

Italian far-right politician Giorgia Meloni has hit back after she was criticised for posting a video of a woman being raped on Twitter.

Meloni was accused of "indecent" and "vulgar" election campaigning by rival politicians after sharing the controversial footage.

The blurred video shows shows a Ukrainian woman being assaulted and raped in the middle of the street in Piacenza by "an asylum seeker," Meloni said.

It was filmed by an onlooker, and the cries of the woman can be heard.

The leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party has pledged to "restore security" in the country if she wins the upcoming election on September 25.

"One cannot remain silent in the face of this atrocious episode of sexual violence," she wrote on Twitter. The same video was also shared by Matteo Salvini, the leader of the populist Lega Nord (League).

Both politicians were heavily criticised for publishing the video by other Italian lawmakers.

"The video published by Giorgia Meloni about a rape is indecent, respect for people comes first," said former PM Enrico Letta, the leader of the Democratic Party.

Carlo Calenda, an MEP for the liberal Action party, said Meloni's actions were "unworthy of a civilised country, and against women".

"Denouncing a rape is one thing, putting the video on social media in which the raped person is seen, exposing her to an avalanche of people who are going to watch it in a morbid way, is unworthy of a civilised country," he said.

Other politicians questioned whether Meloni had spoken with the woman or the police before publishing the video.

Local Italian officials have confirmed that a 55-year-old woman was assaulted in Piacenza over the weekend by an asylum seeker from Guinea. Police confirmed that a man had been detained as part of the investigation.

Both the far-right leader and Salvini have hit back against their critics, accusing them of "delirious mystifications".

Twitter removed the video on Tuesday, while Italian police are investigating how the footage was disseminated.

The Italian election campaign has already been focused on immigration after a Nigerian street vendor,  Alika Ogorchukwu, was brutally murdered in the beach town of Civitanova Marche.

A 32-year-old has been arrested after reportedly attacking Ogorchukwu following an altercation last month.

Investigators have ruled out a racist motive, citing the suspect's psychiatric problems

Additional sources • EFE, Reuters