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Immigration has been thrust to the fore of Italy’s election campaign after a politician from a right-wing party warned that “the white race” was in danger of dying out.

The debate over race, integration and multiculturalism is shaping up as one of the key issues in the March 4 election, in a country which has rescued around 600,000 migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean in the last four years, most of whom arrived by boat from Libya.

Attilio Fontana, a prominent politician...

A trainee lawyer was kicked out of a courtroom in Italy's Bologna for wearing the Muslim headscarf, reports said Thursday.

The 25-year-old Muslim woman identified as Asmae Belfakir, who attended the hearing as a trainee lawyer, was told by the judge to take off her headscarf or leave the courtroom at the Emilia-Romagna regional administrative court.

The Moroccan-born woman refused to take off her headscarf and chose to leave the hearing.

Having completed a law degree at...

Renowned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine militant Leila Khaled was stopped by Italian border police in Rome after she disembarked a flight from Amman, according to Italian press reports. She was expected in the Italian capital as well as in the southern city of Naples to give talks on the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the PFLP, but was sent back to Amman. Italy’s Department of Public Security issued a statement insisting that the stopping of Khaled was a purely...

The EU's policy of aiding Libyan authorities to intercept migrants and return them to detention is "inhuman", the United Nations said on Tuesday. The UN's human rights chief accused European countries of ignoring warnings over the deal struck with Libya. Authorities say it has caused detainees to rise sharply to almost 20,000.

UN monitors who visited facilities said they found "thousands of emaciated and traumatized men, women and children piled on top of each other". The UN High...

Italian authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of death of 26 teenage girls whose bodies were recovered in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday. The girls, aged 14-18, are believed to have been migrants from Niger and Nigeria who had embarked on the treacherous route to Europe from Libya over the weekend.

Lorena Ciccotti, Salerno's head of police, told CNN that autopsies would be carried out on Tuesday and that coroners would be investigating whether the girls had been...

Italian police have opened an investigation after Lazio football fans posted stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing the jersey of rivals Roma alongside anti-Semitic slogans. The material was found in an area of Rome's Olympic Stadium occupied by hard-core Lazio fans known as "ultras". Italian President Sergio Mattarella called the case "alarming". Anne Frank became famous for her diary of life as a German Jew in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in World War Two. Local rivals Lazio and Roma...

Italy’s Rovigo Mayor Massimo Bergamin suggested refugees wear an electronic wristband for security reasons, according to Italian publication Rai News. Bergamin, a member of the far-right Lega Nord Party, known for its anti-refugee and Islamophobic sentiments, pointing out the recent rape incidents in which refugees applying for asylum were involved in said: “These incidents once again reveal the disorganization of Italian politics and bureaucracy in managing the situation of refugees and...

Police using water cannon and batons have clashed with refugees who had occupied a square in Rome in defiance of an order to leave a building where they had been squatting. Television images from the dawn operation showed people screaming and trying to hit police, who were dressed in riot gear, with sticks. The square, one block from Rome’s main train station, was strewn with mattresses, overturned rubbish bins and broken plastic chairs. Hung on the building was a sheet with writing reading...

An Italian mayor has caused controversy after saying that anyone who shouts "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, in the main square of the northern city of Venice, will be shot on the spot. Luigi Brugnaro, a right-wing politician, was speaking about extremism at a conference in the city of Rimini. He said that Venice was a safer place than Barcelona, with greater security measures in place. Brugnaro was referring to the van attack and two other incidents that left 15 people dead in...

More than 200,000 migrants in Italy may be granted temporary EU visas, enabling them to travel anywhere in Europe. The move, which has been described as a ‘nuclear option’, has been threatened in a bid to deal with the country’s migrant and refugee crisis. It means that new arrivals to Italy would be able to travel across Europe using the Brussels directive, according to The Times.

The little known Brussel’s directive gives displaced people entry to Europe for a certain period of time...

A Italian beach club venerating former fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has been raided by police. The Punta Canna club in Chioggia, near Venice in northern Italy, is decorated with pictures of Il Duce and signs proclaiming the sight an “anti-democracy, regime run zone” and “don’t break our falls”. Other signs said: "in a country devastated by institutional and rude thieves here are the rules that are missing: order, cleanliness, discipline, severity" and “the law of justice comes from the...

After 28 years of failure, Italy has finally made torture a crime. But there’s little to celebrate. The compromise text, finally approved on July 5 by the Chamber of Deputies after four years of tough negotiations, falls short of the bar set by European and international bodies of which Italy is a member and fails to meet international law standards. The flaws rest with how the law defines the scope of the crime and the statute of limitations.

Diverging from the definition provided by...

The Italian government is considering blocking boats carrying migrants from landing at its ports after nearly 11,000 refugees arrived on its shores in five days. It has been reported that the government has given its ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, a mandate to raise the issue formally with the European commission to seek permission for a drastic revision of EU asylum procedures. One idea being discussed is denying docking privileges to boats not carrying Italian flags that seek to...

Italian mobsters took charge of one of Europe's largest migrant reception centres, using a Roman Catholic charity organisation as a cover to skim millions of euros in state funds, prosecutors have revealed. Police arrested 68 people in early morning raids in southern Italy, including a priest and the head of the local Misericordia association that manages the Sant'Anna Cara immigrant centre in the town of Isola Capo Rizzuto. Police said many of those arrested belonged to the Arena clan of...

The interior ministers of Germany and Italy have written to Brussels urging the creation of an “EU Mission” at the border between Libya and Niger “as soon as possible,” after over 40,000 people traveled through the North African country into Europe this year. “The first months of this year have shown that our efforts up to this point have been insufficient. We must prevent hundreds of thousands of people who are in the hands of smugglers from risking their lives in Libya and the...