Strasbourg Court condemns Italy for violating alleged rape victim’s rights

In its judgment, the Strasbourg court ordered Italy to compensate the victim with €12,000. The sentence does not enter into the merits of the acquittal but censures the sexist contents of the motivations. [Shutterstock/Marian Weyo]

The acquittal by the Florence Court in 2015 of seven young men accused of a group rape in 2008 contained “passages that did not respect the private and intimate life” of the victim and  “language and arguments that convey prejudices about the role of women that exist in Italian society,” the European Human Rights Court held on Thursday.

In its judgement, the Strasbourg court ordered Italy to compensate the victim with €12,000. The sentence does not enter into the merits of the acquittal but censures the sexist contents of the motivations.

According to the judges, the Italian court’s ruling contained “unjustified references” to the victim’s underwear, bisexuality and romantic relationships before the facts under consideration.

“The violation of the victim’s private life and image” cannot be considered “relevant to assess the credibility of the person concerned and the criminal responsibility of the accused”, nor can it be justified “by the need to guarantee the right to defence of the accused,” the court held. (Daniele Lettig | EURACTIV.it)

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