Ukrainian woman raped on Piacenza street by man from Guinea.
Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy's far-right Fratelli d'Italia party, has faced harsh criticism for sharing video footage of a woman being raped on a street in the north Italian city of Piacenza.
The sexual assault occurred early on Sunday morning when a 55-year-old Ukrainian woman was raped on a pavement by a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Guinea who was subsequently arrested.
The rape was widely condemned including by Piacenza mayor Katia Tarasconi who said it was "chilling that a woman on her own was attacked by a cowardly criminal", adding however that she hoped the nationality of the offender would "not be exploited".
Footage of the rape, published by Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, was used in a tweet on Sunday night by Meloni who is tipped to become Italy's next prime minister following the country's general election on 25 September.
"One cannot remain silent in the face of this atrocious episode of sexual violence against a Ukrainian woman carried out during the day in Piacenza by an asylum seeker" - Meloni tweeted - "A hug to this woman. I will do everything I can to restore security in or cites."
Meloni's tweet received a landslide of criticism from the public as well as from opposition politicians.
Enrico Letta, leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) said it was "indecent" to publish images of a rape and "even more indecent to do so for electoral purposes. Respect for people and for victims always comes first."
— Enrico Letta (@EnricoLetta) August 22, 2022
Carlo Calenda, leader of the centrist Azione party, wrote on Twitter: "Reporting a rape is a duty. Showing it for election purposes is above all an immoral and disrespectful act for the woman who suffered it, who certainly would not want to be exposed on social media in this way. Shame on you, Giorgia Meloni."
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Giorgia Meloni slammed for sharing rape video in Italy election campaign
Piacenza, Province of Piacenza, Italy