Rackete files suit against Salvini

German migrant rescue skipper gets Paris' top prize

(ANSA) - Rome, July 12 - Sea-Watch3 skipper Carola Rackete on Friday filed a suit to close Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's Facebook and Twitter accounts because they allegedly stoked hate against her and the Sicilian prosecutor who released her after she defied the minister's closed-ports policy, Alessandra Vella.
    In the suit, which attached rape threats against her from social media haters who allegedly responded to Salvini's criticism, the 31-year-old German migrant rescue ship captain argued that far-right League leader Salvini, who called her "a rich Communist scamp who shops in Portofino", spreads hatred and instigates people to commit crimes.
    Salvini has dismissed claims, notably from 5-Star Movement (M5S) equal opportunities cabinet secretary Vincenzo Spadafora, that his comments on Rackete were sexist, saying he would have said the same things about a man.
    He has called on Spadafora to resign "if he can't stand being in government with dangerous male chauvinists and fascists".
    The anti-establishment M5S is the League's partner in Italy's populist government.
    Spadafora stands by what he said and refuses to resign.
    Salvini reacted to Rackete's announced suit Thursday by saying "the German Communist, the one who rammed the finance guard patrol boat, has asked prosecutors to close my Facebook and Twitter pages.
    "There's no end to how ridiculous things can get. So can I use only Instagram now??" The city council of Paris on Friday said Rackete and fellow Sea-Watch3 captain Pia Klemp will receive its top prize, the Grand Vermeil Medal, for saving migrants at sea.
    The council said the award symbolised "solidarity for the respect of human lives".
    It said the two charity operators were "still being prosecuted by Italian justice". Rackete is under investigation for aiding and abetting illegal immigration.
   

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