Firebomb Attack on Romani Home in Italy

16 December 2004

At around 11:30 PM on June 14, 2004, five ethnic Italian men threw a firebomb at the camper of a Romani family in the Italian town of Lugagnano di Sona, injuring a 7-year-old girl, according to the Verona-based daily newspaper L'Arena di Verona of June 16. At the time the firebomb was thrown, the family of eight were sitting outside their camper. A vehicle reportedly approached slowly and, once in front of the camper, two bottles full of gasoline and lit on fire were thrown from within, hitting the young girl. The girl, who sustained burns to her face, was taken to the hospital in Bussolengo, where she was held overnight for observation and then taken to another clinic for twenty-one days treatment. According to the daily, the police had recovered one of the bottles from the scene and were conducting an investigation.

According to the daily, earlier on the day in question, there had been an altercation between a youth from the Romani family and one of the men involved in the attack at a local mall. In reporting on the incident, Italian media sources laid heavy emphasis on the "good families" the perpetrators came from and referred to the incident as a "prank", excluding a possible racial motive. On June 17, L'Arena di Verona reported that five men between the ages of 19 and 22 had been charged with the making and possession of weapons, causing personal injury with aggravating conditions. On June 18, 2004, the Verona-based association Cesar K held a press conference in which it condemned the media for its coverage of the incident and highlighted the racial aspect of the attack.

(L'Arena di Verona)

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