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Italy's family minister Lorenzo Fontana.
A top minister in Italy’s anti-establishment government has provoked condemnation from rights groups after calling for the repeal of an anti-fascist law that criminalizes inciting racial violence and hatred, as well as bans support for groups that carry out hate crimes.
Law No. 205, commonly called the Mancino Law, was passed in 1993 as a means of prosecuting racist violence and hate speech. Italy’s family minister Lorenzo Fontana claimed in a Facebook post on Friday that the law was being used by “globalists” to promote “anti-Italian racism,” and should be abolished.
Fontana is a member of the far-right Lega party, which formed a coalition government with the anti-establishment Five Star party following Italy’s elections earlier this year. While Five Star won more seats, Lega and its leader Matteo Salvini have become the more prominent force in Italian politics since the vote and set about shifting the government’s policies to the right.
Salvini, who earlier this week tweeted a notorious quote from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, has gleaned international attention after leading a government crackdown on migrant boat arrivals from Africa as well as clashing with the European Union over refugee policy.
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