Saturday, July 26, 2008

Italy has started fingerprinting the Roma gypsies: what's coming next?

It was the week's most shocking picture: gipsy girls dead on a beach ignored by sunbathers... Now there is more chilling evidence of how Italy's brutal crackdown on the Roma has sick echoes of the country's fascist past.

She looks like any teenager the world over. Wearing a denim skirt, pink designer T-shirt, and with long hair tied back from her face, Samantha is a child who would make any parent proud.

Yet just a few days ago, this bubbly 14-year-old found herself taking part in an excercise that would seem unthinkable in a modern, civilised European country.

She was ordered to line up at the local community hall near her home in Naples, Italy, and dab her right forefinger in black ink before placing it on a government census form. More...

See also: Italy: first they came for the gypsies, now they are coming for everyone else...

And this: Italy: heading towards a new kind of fascism?

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