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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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ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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