Fascist salutes would not be a crime in Italy unless there was a risk of retreat

Fascist salutes would not be a crime in Italy unless there was a risk of retreat

Imitating the fascist or Roman salute, with the arm raised, would not be considered a crime in Italy if there was no concrete danger of a real intention to revive fascism, as reported yesterday by the United Divisions of the Court of Cassation (the Spanish equivalent of the Supreme Court). The decision, the arguments of which will be known in the coming days, was celebrated by far-right formations and the post-fascist president of the Senate and member of the Brothers of Italy party, Giorgia Meloni.

The criminalization of people who emulate the fascist salute, or maintain similar behaviors, has often been a matter of controversy in Italy, where advocating fascism is a crime. Given the large number of rulings related to these actions, the Court of Cassation requested the intervention of the United Sections responsible for unifying the courts when confusion occurred.

The result is a decision that “does not close the matter, because although this gesture can only be prosecuted if it is linked to the will to rebuild Mussolini's party, it is up to the judges to interpret the circumstances of each situation.” Jurist Rafael Bifulco, professor at Luis University in Rome. El Periodico newspaper added in its statements: “In the absence of knowledge of the arguments, it appears to be a crime but it will be very difficult to prove.”

So much so that Italian judges decided that the case they were supposed to rule on – the trial of eight right-wing extremists who saluted at a commemoration ceremony in Milan in 2016 – would have to be discussed again. It is not known whether this will affect those arrested for making this gesture at an event commemorating three young men from the extreme right in 1978, which sparked a wave of discontent in Italy.

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As soon as the court's decision became known, Casabound, a far-right formation that does not exist in the Italian Parliament, issued a statement of joy in which it declared: “This victory puts an end to the undeserved controversies unleashed by the commemoration of the Acca Larenzia, that instead of provoking anger because after 40 years no… The killers are still at large, and the left demanded the trial and conviction of those who were commemorating them. For its part, the newspaper “La Rossa”, which belongs to the right wing of the “Brotherhood of Italy” movement, considered that the veto pronouncement “speaks for itself.”

The discussion ended up becoming an excuse to criticize the Kremlin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday: “Pay attention to the fascist greetings from Rome.”

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