ITALIAN STATE POLICE ACCUSED OF POLITICAL REPRESSION IN PADUA AND VENICE LOCAL ELECTIONS

VENICE – The Partito Nasional Veneto (Venetian National Party) is taking legal action against the Italian Army at the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg for violating the civil liberties of PNV supporters.

Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza Police are accused of interfering with the democratic process by verbally and physically intimidating supporters and members of the PNV with phone threats, forced interrogations, psychological pressure and public humiliation.

In the weeks leading to the June 7th vote, hundreds of PNV members and supporters have been systematically rounded up and escorted to Army headquarters only because they endorsed the petition required to participate in the Padua and Venice local elections.

The repression campaign began on May 14th with a police search at the private home of PNV’s chairman, Gianluca Busato, carried out at dawn. In recent developments, four Ministry of Finance patrol units have stormed the small village of Candiana to question 80 supporters, while Carabinieri agents disrupted classes at a high school in Cittadella to interrogate students who signed the petition in support of PNV.

With the excuse of verifying the signatures’ authenticity, the Carabinieri proceeded with questioning violating basic civil rights. Military agents demanded that supporters motivate why they endorse the PNV by asking: “Was your signature extorted?”; “Why do you want to vote for this pseudo-party?”; “Who else was at the ‘meeting’?”; “Are you planning to vote PNV?”.

Uniformed agents of the Ministry of Finance (Guardia di Finanza) were also deployed. Other personal questions of dubious relevance were asked: “Have you contributed financially to the founding of this party?”; “What do you do for a living?”; “How many children do you have?”.

Behind the Army’s repression campaign, the official motivation is the investigation of one alleged fake signature out of more than a thousand collected in both provinces of Padua and Venice in order to run for the elections.

Puzzled supporters have been told it was a matter of a routine check, but out of the 26 parties running for office, the independence party PNV is the only one being scrutinized in this investigation led by Carabinieri, an impartial armed force whose image is used on TV commercials to endorse Berlusconi’s party in June’s elections.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE PARTITO NASIONAL VENETO
+39.041-96.37.943 – www.pnveneto.org – info@pnveneto.org

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