Italian police want student charged for kissing riot policeman

December 15, 2013 | By | Reply More

Dec 15, Rome: A photograph of a female protester kissing an Italian riot policeman, hailed as an emblematic image of peace in Italy, has failed to impress a police union — it wants the protester prosecuted for sexual violence.

hromedia Italian police want student prosecuted for kissing riot policeman eu crisis2Nina De Chiffre, 20, a student who was protesting last month against the construction of a new train link in northern Italy, was photographed as she kissed the lowered helmet visor of a riot policeman. The photograph went around the world and was quickly held up as an example of non-violent protest, until COISP, a union representing Italian police officers, announced that it had lodged a complaint with Turin prosecutors.

“We have accused the protester of sexual violence and insulting a public official,” said Franco Maccari, the union’s general secretary. “We fully expect an investigation to start.”

Maccari said he was not prepared to brush off the incident as a peaceful gesture.

“If the policeman had kissed her, world war three would have broken out,” he said. “Or what if I had patted her on the behind? She would have been outraged. So if she does that to a man on duty, should it be tolerated?” Miss De Chiffre has also done her bit to spoil the photograph’s apparent message of non-violence, claiming that she was trying to provoke the officer into reacting. “No peace message,” she wrote on Facebook. “I would hang all these disgusting pigs upside down.”

Miss De Chiffre told the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica that she was incensed because riot police had recently beaten a fellow protester. “I saw this young man in his uniform and I felt pity and disgust,” she said. Taking advantage of the officer’s orders not to react, Miss De Chiffre said she also licked his helmet’s visor and touched her fingers to his lips. Maccari said Miss De Chiffre’s motivation meant calls for prosecution were justified. “This was hardly a peace gesture, more a provocation,” he said. “A kiss is a positive thing, but in this context, between these two people, it was just disrespect.”

Press coordinator for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises

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