We stand with Cécile Kashetu Kyenge



Black elected representatives and community leaders from across Europe voice their support for the Italian MEP, who is sued for defamation for calling the Italian League party racist

Guardian Letters

Fri 12 Oct 2018 07.00 BST

As black elected representatives and community leaders from across Europe, we are deeply troubled that a court in Piacenza, Italy, has allowed the Italian League party to open a case of defamation against Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, the former Italian minister of integration and current member of the European parliament, for calling the League racist. Cécile was responding to a picture posted on social media by Pablo Rainieri, who at the time was party secretary in the Emilia-Romagna region, depicting her as an orangutan.

The image on social media is one of many incidents and intimidations by the League’s politicians and supporters that Cécile has recently faced. We fully support Cécile and stand with her decision to remove her parliamentary immunity to fight against racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

We also want to state our concern that Cécile’s case represents a wider problem across Europe where we are witnessing the rise of populist, far-right parties in government who are pushing their nationalist agenda and spreading fear and hate against minorities. Only last week, the Italian League president and minister of home affairs, Matteo Salvini, compared African migrants to slaves, saying: “In Italy there’s the need to help our kids have kids, not to have new slaves to replace the children we’re not having.”

Clive Lewis MP United Kingdom

Karamba Diaby MP Germany

Killion Munyama MP Poland

Diane Abbott MP United Kingdom

Keith Vaz United Kingdom

Olivio Cake-Kocsis MP Hungary

Valerie Vaz MP United Kingdom

Dawn Butler MP United Kingdom

Jallow Momodou MP Sweden

Imran Hussein MP United Kingdom

David Lammy MP United Kingdom

Kate Osamor MP United Kingdom

Robert Schaddach MP Berlin, Germany

Aminata Touré MP Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Elombo Bolayela MP Bremen, Germany

Bambos Charalambous MP United Kingdom

Preet Kaur Gill MP United Kingdom

Seema Malhotra MP United Kingdom

Tan Dhesi MP United Kingdom

Fiona Onasanya MP United Kingdom

Tulip Siddiq MP United Kingdom

Rosena Allin-Khan MP United Kingdom

Chuka Umunna MP United Kingdom

Faisal Rashid MP United Kingdom

Naz Shah MP United Kingdom

Marsha de Cordova MP United Kingdom

Rupa Huq MP United Kingdom

Shabana Mahmood MP United Kingdom

Yasmin Qureshi MP United Kingdom

Rushanara Ali MP United Kingdom

Sanchia Alasia Mayor of Barking and Dagenham, United Kingdom

Councillor Mpanzu Bamenga Netherlands

Councillor Tracy Tansia Belgium

Said Abdu Former MP, Sweden

Karen Kaneza Council candidate 2018, Belgium

Karen Taylor Board member of SPD Berlin and chair of the Committee for Migration and Diversity of SPD Berlin

Mireille Fanon-Mendès President of the Frantz Fanon Foundation, France

Simon Woolley Director, Operation Black Vote, United Kingdom


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