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Italian politico convicted for pulling son's hair
www.thelocal.se ^ | 09/13/2011 | TT/The Local/pvs

Posted on 09/13/2011 10:04:41 AM PDT by WesternCulture

An Italian politician was convicted by a Swedish court on Tuesday for assaulting his son while on holiday in Stockholm in a case that has sparked heated debate in both Italy and Sweden.

In finding Giovanni Colasante, 46, a local politician from Canosa di Puglia in southern Italy, guilty of assault, the court fined him 6,600 kronor ($990).

Colasante was arrested on August 23rd as he and his family were about to enter a Stockholm eatery in the city's historic Gamla Stan (Old Town) district.

They were in the Swedish capital on vacation as part of a cruise that was to take them to several Nordic countries.

But when Colasante's 12-year-old son refused to go into the restaurant, the boy's father reacted and, according to witnesses, attacked the young lad.

“He lifted his son up by the hair,” eye witness Deniz Cinkitas told the Aftonbladet newspaper following the incident.

Other guests at the restaurant called police and Colasante was placed under arrest for breaking Sweden's laws outlawing corporal punishment, putting a dent in the remainder of the family's travel plans.

While no one denies that a disagreement took place, exactly how Colasante may have treated his son remains a matter of interpretation.

According to the district court's ruling, four witnesses testified to seeing Colasante pull his son's hair before rushing over to prevent any further violence.

However, testimony regarding the blows that Colasante allegedly dealt out was less certain. As a result, the Italian politician was convicted of abuse based solely on having pulled his son's hair.

Despite the fact that an adult was seen to have committed violence against a child, the court deemed the assault to be minor as Colasante only caused his son pain for a few seconds.

In deciding on Colasante's punishment, the court took into account that he has been held by police since his arrest.

The fact that Colasante was held against his will and saddled with travel restrictions is unusual for minor offences, but occurred in this case because the court wanted to make sure that he didn't leave the country.

The Italian embassy in Stockholm refused to comment on the verdict, but confirmed embassy official had been in contact with Colasante.

“We have just gotten word of this sentence, and he will discuss with his lawyer what he will do next,” Caterina Gioiella, embassy First Secretary told The Local.

Colasante's case has garnered a great deal of attention in the media in Italy, which is among the 11 EU countries without a law forbidding corporal punishment.

Sweden was the first to introduce a formal ban on corporal punishment back in 1979 and a slew of countries have since followed suit. The Swedish ban has faced scrutiny and been roundly criticised in some areas of the Italian media.

Mali Nilsson, responsible for the international work on corporal punishment at Save the Children Sweden, has followed the debate in Italy.

She has concluded that the discussion has been based on an incorrect view of Swedish legislation.

"It is thought that the law is intended to criminalise parents and that neighbours should report one another. But we know that the law has not led to more parents losing their children. Nor was that the intention; the purpose is preventative - to protect children," she said.

Of the EU's 27 member states, 16 have a law against corporal punishment. In Italy it is expressly forbidden in schools, but not in the home.

Save the Children Italy lobbies for a change in the law, but has noted that Colasante's case has stirred such strong emotions in the country that a planned campaign on the issue could be put on ice, Mali Nilsson explained.

"They may have to wait with their campaign. But my colleagues also say that the case has at least prompted a debate, and that could be something," she said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: childabuse; crime; italy; stockholm; sweden

1 posted on 09/13/2011 10:04:49 AM PDT by WesternCulture
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To: WesternCulture
In most countries, it would be considered an offence to treat an employee, your wife or even your dog like this.

IMO, this evidently is a case of child abuse.

Over here in Scandinavia, physical violence is not seen as a constructive way of dealing with disobedient children. Perhaps we are overly politically correct and so on, but have a look at the end result; 95% of all Nordic youth are well mannered, well educated, abide the law and will end up as productive citizens sooner than members of biker gangs, drug mafias or Al-Qaeda.

2 posted on 09/13/2011 10:06:42 AM PDT by WesternCulture
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To: WesternCulture

Well, uh, there was ONE Norwegian who got a little out of control recently...


3 posted on 09/13/2011 10:09:34 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: WesternCulture

I wonder how the story might be different if Giovanni Colasante happened to be Muslim?


4 posted on 09/13/2011 10:11:03 AM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: WesternCulture

“.....Nordic youth are well mannered, well educated, abide the law and will end up as productive citizens sooner than members of biker gangs, drug mafias or Al-Qaeda.”

Ever heard the old cliche about Apples, and Oranges?


5 posted on 09/13/2011 10:12:39 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: WesternCulture

I grew up in a large Italian family. We constantly hug, kiss, smack, pinch, yell and talk with our hands. IOW, we’re an animated bunch. I’ve never pulled the hair of any of my children, nor have I ever raised a hand to them. It’s hard to say that the pulling of the hair was abuse any more than leading someone by their ear would be. I only know that the idea of a court telling me that I can’t discipline my own child should I feel the need to, makes me never want to step foot on the soil of that court’s Country.


6 posted on 09/13/2011 10:19:24 AM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: WesternCulture
And of course here, you have a former POTUS doing this:


7 posted on 09/13/2011 10:19:55 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: WesternCulture
95% of all Nordic youth are well mannered, well educated, abide the law and will end up as productive citizens

The same thing could be said about Japan. I wonder what the two cultures have in common. Hmmm...

8 posted on 09/13/2011 10:21:10 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I never did understand why the Republicans agree to let the Democrats moderate their debates.)
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To: liberalh8ter

It’s hard to say that the pulling of the hair was abuse any more than leading someone by their ear would be.

We had a nun who used to do both to a couple of guys in my 6th grade class every day - she was a nun from the order of Sisters of Mercy - isn’t that a hoot. She was really scary.


9 posted on 09/13/2011 10:26:37 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: WesternCulture
95% of all Nordic youth are well mannered...

Just curious - does the phrase "Nordic youth" include or exclude immigrants?

10 posted on 09/13/2011 10:41:22 AM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: Bitsy

I had the Sisters of Mercy, too. They were rough as hell. Most of us grew up to be decent people and not members of biker gangs or drug mafiosos, lol!

My husband’s family lives in Sicily - and while they are a gentle bunch, the good people of Palermo are a wild and wooley citizenry. They’d ALL be arrested for going into a Norwegian restaurant, if truth be told.

The EU is a disaster and so are their crazy politically correct laws. Just ask Geert Wilders.


11 posted on 09/13/2011 10:45:09 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: miss marmelstein
Well, uh, there was ONE Norwegian who got a little out of control recently...

Obviously one of the 5%.

12 posted on 09/13/2011 10:46:12 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
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To: WesternCulture

Discipline is one thing. But pulling the kid’s hair? Really? What are you, a twelve-year-old girl?


13 posted on 09/13/2011 10:47:31 AM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: miss marmelstein

Most of us grew up to be decent people and not members of biker gangs or drug mafiosos,

Yes, I was too scared no to:)

My son’s great grandparents were from Sicily as well. Came to America and did quite well. And, yes most Italians/Sicilians would be in Norwegian jails as well as Polish/Irish people (me)LOL.


14 posted on 09/13/2011 10:52:26 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: Bitsy
LOL. I always found nuns to be the most brutal disciplinarians! When my brother and I were little we were terrified of the nuns. If Guantanamo had nuns, waterboarding would have been refreshing.
15 posted on 09/13/2011 10:53:12 AM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: Bitsy

And the rowdy English, the heavy smoking French, and the vodka-appreciating Russians.

The Sicilians after one or two generations did amazingly well in America. And they had quite a bit to overcome.

I think some of those Sisters of Mercy were Sicilians, lol!


16 posted on 09/13/2011 11:01:15 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: liberalh8ter

That’s so funny! So true. Those craaaaaazy nuns!


17 posted on 09/13/2011 11:02:13 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: Zeppo
Somehow I think this little paean to Norway is NOT going Western Culture's way...
18 posted on 09/13/2011 11:04:36 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: miss marmelstein

Damn! Correction: I meant Sweden. I wish we could edit ourselves here.


19 posted on 09/13/2011 11:06:26 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: WesternCulture
Over here in Scandinavia, physical violence is not seen as a constructive way of dealing with disobedient children.

1. Physical force and violence are not necessarily the same thing. It is begging the question to assert that the father committed a violent act.

2. Though I know very little of Sweden, I have trouble believing that a social consensus of abhorrence for corporal punishment for children dates back any more than a few decades. I would expect to find that earlier generations of Scandinavians would have been quite surprised to have been informed that moderate corporal punishment of children was something alien to their culture. Here too, I suspect you are over-stating your case.

3. If we are going to indulge in rights talk, can we discuss the natural right of parents to have their authority over their children not subverted by the meddling omnicompetent State? Can we discuss the natural right of children to look to their parents first as guides and models, without the State competing for their loyalty and affection? Can we discuss the impertinence of novel, state-manufactured rights presuming to displace human rights that derive from human nature itself?

20 posted on 09/13/2011 11:15:01 AM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: WesternCulture
Sometimes kids are so hyperactive that reason doesn't work...a short slap (or apparently in Italy a hair-pull)gets a quick message across and will often keep a kid from doing real harm to himself.

As a child grows, reason can take a much larger place.

21 posted on 09/13/2011 12:37:00 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: WesternCulture
Sometimes kids are so hyperactive that reason doesn't work...a short slap (or apparently in Italy a hair-pull)gets a quick message across and will often keep a kid from doing real harm to himself.

As a child grows, reason can take a much larger place.

22 posted on 09/13/2011 12:37:08 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: WesternCulture
Perhaps we are overly politically correct and so on, ...

Perhaps you are.

23 posted on 09/13/2011 2:40:39 PM PDT by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: WesternCulture
“He lifted his son up by the hair,” eye witness Deniz Cinkitas told the Aftonbladet newspaper following the incident.

My first thought was, Wow, that must be a tall strong father or a short skinny kid.

24 posted on 09/13/2011 8:57:48 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot
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To: miss marmelstein

I think some of those Sisters of Mercy were Sicilians,

And, taught them everything they know:it seems from some of the punishments they coule mede out:)
We had/have a large community of Italian immigrants in New Orleans, as well as Irish and German. The Italians gravitated toward the French Quarter/Market where they would sell their produce and start restaurants and businesses. (We still have mafa here) And,we still have a store in the FQ that is straight out of the early 1900’s and makes the best muffalatas(sp) in the city - Central Grocery is a must visit when in NOLA.


25 posted on 09/14/2011 6:09:42 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: Bitsy

Oh, I know the French Quarter very well! I used to be taken there every year on my birthday but after Katrina we sort of faded it out.

Do you know that Tennessee Williams always wrote about the Sicilians of New Orleans and Louisiana? His play “The Rose Tattoo” is about a Sicilian seamstress and “Orpheus Descending” recounts the terrible lynching of the Italian community in New Orleans in the late 19th century. I think Williams turned it into a fire rather than a lynching. Chilling.

But, as always, the Sicilians landed on their feet and flourished in America.

I’ve been to the Central Grocery. One year we bought muffalettas (I know I’m butchering the spelling!) and took them out to the plantation homes and ate them while gazing at the Mississippi.


26 posted on 09/14/2011 6:26:52 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: Romulus

To begin with; No people are in need of their government telling them what to do, how to live their lives and how to raise their families.

Secondly; as a Swede, I happen to disagree with the idea of lifting a boy in his hair.


27 posted on 09/15/2011 10:43:38 AM PDT by WesternCulture
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