Facebook removes video of Italy’s Salvini ringing teenager’s doorbell

Facebook has taken down a video of Italy's anti-immigrant League leader Matteo Salvini buzzing the intercom of a 17-year-old Tunisian-Italian to ask if he was dealing drugs, a lawyer said on Tuesday.

Facebook removes video of Italy's Salvini ringing teenager's doorbell
Matteo Salvini addressing a press conference on Monday following his party's defeat at regional elections in Emilia-Romagna. Photo: AFP

In Bologna last week ahead of regional elections, the far-right opposition leader Salvini – surrounded by cameras – buzzed the intercom of an apartment in a neighbourhood where he said he was told drugs were sold, asking the resident, who was born in Italy and is of Tunisian extraction, if it was true he was a dealer.

The widely circulated videos of Salvini sparked outrage, and Tunisia's ambassador to Italy condemned the politican's media stunt, calling it  a “provocation with no respect for a private residence.”

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The teenager, named as Yassin, later described being “humiliated” by the event, and said he had sought the assistance of a lawyer.

“Facebook has taken the shameful video down from Matteo Salvini's page,” said the resident's lawyer, Cathy La Torre, on her own Facebook page.

“This live video has wreaked havoc on Yassin's life,” La Torre said.

“Yassin, with no criminal record, a 17-year-old Italian, soccer player, found himself identified throughout Italy as a drug dealer,” she said. 

After the event, Salvini said he did not regret his actions.

Salvini and local election candidate for the right, Lucia Borgonzoni. following election defeat in Emilia Romagna this week. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Salvini is no stranger to provocation and drug dealing is a common refrain in his highly publicised media stunts.

He called the government “drug dealers” when parliament voted to approve the sale of a mild version of cannabis last year (though the bill was thrown out) and often ventures into the main piazzas of Italian cities saying he'll chase away dealers.
Despite the media attention, Salvini's pre-election campaigning failed to bring a League victory in the key region of Emilia Romagna, held historically by the left.

Instead, the vote went in favour of the incumbant candidate of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

For months before Sunday's elections, Salvini had claimed that a victory for right in the region would bring about the collapse of Italy's current coalition government

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Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.