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12 charged for Fascist salutes at Mattei brothers event

12 charged for Fascist salutes at Mattei brothers event

ROME, 19 April 2024, 13:23

ANSA English Desk



Italian prosecutors on Friday charged 12 mostly far-right militants for making Fascist salutes at the commemoration earlier this week of the April 16, 1973 lefttist militant Primavalle Massacre arson attack that killed two sons of a neofascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) local leader in the Rome neighborhood.
    In the fire, the eight-year-old and 22-year-old sons of MSI Primavalle secretary Mario Mattei, Stefano and Virgilio, were killed.
    The suspects are, for the most part, militants of extreme right-wing political formations in Rome, including former activists, well-known militants and new recruits of neoFascist group Forza Nuova and its youth offshoot Lotta Studentesca (Student Struggle), as well as a top ultra of the Lazio football team.
    In addition to those charged, Rome Digos special branch police identified another 15 people, all linked to radical right-wing circles.
    The Constitutional Court clarified earlier this week that making Fascist salutes was against the law even if they were "merely commemorative", reversing the interpretation of a previous ruling.
    Premier Giorgia Meloni said on the 50th anniversary of the Primavalle Massacre last April that it was one of the darkest pages in Italian history.
    "On 16 April fifty years ago Italy and Rome experienced one of the darkest pages of national history", said Meloni in a message to the president of the Fratelli Mattei Association, Giampaolo Mattei.
    "What we can do today is to keep the memory of what happened alive, to avoid the danger of relapses and lead Italy and our people towards a full and true national pacification," added Meloni, whose conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) party has its historical roots in the MSI and features a Mussolini tricolor flame in its logo, although the premier has repeatedly condemned Fascism and its "odious" laws against the Jews.
    Fascist and anti-fascist militants clashed regularly in Italian streets during the 1970s and there were deaths on both sides.
    The late 1960s to late 1980s also saw many deaths in Italy's Years of Lead of rightist and leftist political terrorism.
    photo: Victims Virgilio (R) and Stefano Mattei


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