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Council of Europe slams 'misogynistic' Grillo post

Human rights commissioner defends House Speaker Laura Boldrini

06 March, 15:26
Council of Europe slams 'misogynistic' Grillo post (ANSA) - Strasbourg, March 6 - The Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks on Thursday defined as "clearly mosogynistic" an online post by 5-Star Movement (M5S) head Beppe Grillo criticising the Speaker of Italy's lower chamber of parliament, recalling how Laura Boldrini has been the target of repeated hate speech since being sworn in. "In Italy, the House Speaker, Laura Boldrini, has been the target of repeated hate speech since she was sworn in, including recently when the leader of the 5-Star Movement, a political group which obtained a quarter of the votes in last year's legislative elections, published a clearly misogynistic post on his blog, which was picked up by his social media account and those used by his MPs, and which generated violent, insulting comments against her," wrote Muiznieks in a message ahead of International Women's Day on March 8. The post in question, containing a video with the title "What would you do alone in a car with Boldrini?", which showed a man driving and talking to a cut-out of her, came after the House Speaker took the unprecedented decision to stop a filibuster by members of the M5S to prevent a controversial government decree from being converted into law by using the so-called "guillotine" power to interrupt parliamentary discussions in order to speed up voting.

Boldrini has also been the target of threats and insults from the anti-immigration Northern League since taking office in March 2013. The former spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency has made no secret of wanting to use her position to promote women's issues and gender equality.

However in a recent interview to the weekly Observer newspaper she admitted that the criticism was "unbelievable" and "hard".