An Italian court has issued an appropriate verdict on the officials responsible for the establishment of a mausoleum for the Fascist criminal typically known as “the butcher of Ethiopia”, Rodolfo Graziani, at an Italian town called Affile. We wish to express our appreciation to those who, in response to our Alliance’s initiative, rendered their unreserved support to the cause of justice including the Governor of the Lazio Province, H.E. Mr. Nichola Zingaretti, the Lazio Provincial Council, ANPI (Italian National Partisan Association), the Ethiopian Community Association in Rome, Mr. Valerio Ciriaci, Mr. Carmelo Crescenti and other supporters in Rome.
Our Alliance wishes to express its fullest appreciation to the Italian court as its verdict clearly demonstrates its respect for justice. It is also our fervent hope that the final verdict regarding the removal of the Graziani mausoleum would be declared by the Italian court at Affile at its earliest convenience.
It is well known that the Fascist Italian war crimes perpetrated in Ethiopia during 1935-41 had resulted in the massacre of one million Ethiopians, the destruction of 2,000 churches, 525,000 homes and 14 million animals as well as the looting of vast quantities of Ethiopian properties with the complicit support of the Vatican.
A mausoleum with a park was inaugurated in August, 2012, in the presence of a Vatican representative, for the Fascist criminal, Rodolfo Graziani, an individual judged to be a criminal even according to Italian laws, as if he were a hero, at an Italian town called, Affile. In opposition to this unjust act, our Alliance had submitted our appeal to the Italian Government as well as to H.E. Mr. Nichola Zingaretti, the governor of the Lazio Province.
As a result of the assistance provided by various supporters in Italy including ANPI, and the Ethiopian Community in Rome, Mr. Valerio Ciriaci, Mr. Carmelo Crescenti and other friends who exerted serious efforts including a public demonstration in front of the mausoleum, the Lazio Provincial Council decided that the budgetary allocation be terminated and that the mausoleum should be removed promptly failing which a legal action would be taken.
However, since the mayor of Affile and his staff failed to comply with the removal of the mausoleum, the required legal action was taken and after the process that lasted several months, the following verdict was rendered by the Italian court today, November 7, 2017:
- The mayor of Affile, Mr. Ercole Viri, was sentenced to 8 months in prison plus a penalty of Euro 120.00;
- The Councilors, Peoperoni and Frosoni, were each sentenced to 6 months and a penalty of Euro 80.00;
- The defendants were barred from public service for 5 years;
- The defendants to compensate ANPI with Euro 8,000.00;
- The defendants to compensate the plaintiff for legal expenses of Euro 1,800.00.
The above court verdict clearly indicates, despite the possibility of an appeal and the suspension of the imprisonment, that the current Italian policy is on the side of justice and a source of encouragement with regard to the fundamental objectives of our Alliance:
- Adequate reparations by the Italian Government for the Fascist war crimes perpetrated in Ethiopia in a manner that would be of a sustainable value to the Ethiopian people;
- Restitution of the looted Ethiopian properties to Ethiopia;
- Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people;
- UN recognition of the Fascist war crimes in Ethiopia and support in achieving the required justice; and
- The removal of the Graziani mausoleum in Affile, Italy.
May the Almighty God bless and continue to support our effort on behalf of justice for our beloved Ethiopia. Amen.