Dacia Valent

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Dacia Valent

Dacia Soraya Valent (Mogadishu, 12 February 1963 – Rome, 22 January 2015) was a Somali-born Italian politician and former Member of the European Parliament.

Biography[edit]

Dacia Valent was born in Mogadishu, from an Italian father and a Somali mother, she travelled extensively around the world during her youth and moved permanently to Udine, in Northern Italy in 1980. While she lived in Udine, in 1985 her 16-year-old brother Giacomo was stabbed to death as the result of a fight with two classmates.[1] She lived in Rome at the time of her death.

After an unsuccessful period as an Engineering student and after the breakup of her marriage (during which, she gave birth to two children), she joined the Polizia di Stato and was initially assigned to a police station in Milan. She was later transferred first to the mobile squad and later to the Special VIP protection service at Palermo. In January 1989, while on duty, Valent claimed that a visibly drunken man insulted her with heavily racist remarks, refusing to hand her documents for identification and assaulting her physically. During this incident, Valent was on patrol with two male colleagues who Valent accused of being negligent in helping her and who allegedly tried to minimize the incident, as the assaulter was drunk.[2] Valent denounced the supposed irregular behaviour of her colleagues to the media and through this incident, coupled with her background, she gained solidarity as well as experiencing a wide popularity.

As an activist of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), Valent was candidated with the support of the then Secretary Achille Occhetto to the European Parliament and was elected in the 1989 elections with about 76,000 votes. Her position as an Independent MEP of the PCI caused some friction with the Party Board. Particularly famous was the diplomatic row with the Government of the State of Israel which, in a 1990 column on the magazine "Avvenimenti" was deemed as «the most racist Government in the world» and compared to the Third Reich. The outrage sparked by these statements, forced the Israeli Ambassador in Italy, Mordechai Drory, to file an official written complaint to Achille Occhetto, who distanced himself and the PCI from Valent's statements.[3] At Strasbourg Dacia Valent was a member of the Commission on Legal Affairs and Citizens Rights (1989–1992), of the Joint Assembly of the Convention between the ACP and the EEC (1989–1994), and of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs (1992).

Following the dissolution of the PCI and its subsequent transformation into the Democratic Party of the Left, she decided not to join the new political entity but she rather chose to be enrolled in the Communist Refoundation Party. After some time she was expelled from the party for her declaration of admiration to the former neo-fascist politician Gianfranco Fini, leader of centre-right party Alleanza Nazionale.[4] Dacia Valent tried unsuccessfully to run for a seat under the Alleanza Nazionale party, and finally was candidated to the European elections of 2004 with the list of Antonio Di Pietro getting 583 preferences without being elected.

On 26 July 1992 Dacia Valent founded a non-governmental organization known as SCORE and was nominated Chairwoman of it.[5] In 1995 as a member of that group, she supported the action of a group of Somali women who denounced requests for sexual favors by the CGIL trade union in exchange for concessions in the allocation of food, but the CGIL denied the circumstances and Dacia Valent was found guilty of defamation after a Court trial.[6] In April 1995 she was arrested for the attempted murder of Luc Tchombé Mutshail, a citizen of Zaire with whom she had a child; Tchombé was injured by Valent with a knife during a fight.[7][8] Later in 2002, she was sanctioned by the Italian Comptroller and Auditor General for improper administration of the money invested from the Italian Government into SCORE which was meant instead to be used to build temporary sojourn and assistance centres for illegal immigrants.[9] For these reason she lost the opportunity to be nominated in the Berlusconi government as a Minister of Immigration.[10]

Later, after her supposed conversion to Islam,[11][12] she founded an organization called Islamic Anti-Defamation League. Among its initiatives, the organization provided a telephone support and advisory service for Muslims who wished to report abuse issues based on religious discrimination. The toll free number, however, ceased to be operational shortly after.

In November 2006 Dacia Valent was indicted for aiding and abetting in a robbery against a Polish immigrant who had turned to SCORE for help.[13] In October 2007, she was sentenced to one year in jail and a 15,000 euro fine for defamation and threats against the former director of Telepadania.[14] In October 2008, an article published on her personal blog, titled "Italians bastards, shitty Italians", which featured a number of derogatory comments against Italians (specified also as «whites and Christians») ignited some strong outrage from the press.[15]

In January 2010 she acquired the political portal Kilombo.org, an aggregator of blogs.[16]

In 2012, she underwent another Criminal Court trial for repeatingly defaming the Moroccan-born politician Souad Sbai and she was found guilty as charged.[17]

Dacia Valent died in Rome on 22 January 2015 from a heart attack, while she was hospitalized for other health issues.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maria Novella De Luca (3 April 1995). "Agente, deputato e un fratello ucciso perchè nero". La Repubblica. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "La Valent senza biglietto, lite sul bus". Corriere della Sera. 3 January 1998. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Aldo Fontanarosa (11 February 1990). "Israele, il PCI sconfessa Valent". La Repubblica. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "La Valent: "Gianfranco mi dà le stesse emozioni di Ingrao"". Corriere della Sera. 29 January 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Immigrazione: costituita sezione italiana della SCORE". Corriere della Sera. 27 July 1992. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "La Cgil querela Dacia Valent: "Molestie sessuali? Tutto falso"". Corriere della Sera. 5 April 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Accoltella il partner, arrestata la Valent". Corriere della Sera. 3 April 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Zuccolini Roberto, Merlo Francesco (3 April 1995). "Dacia, sangue sul tramonto". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Sentenza n. 603 del 25 febbraio 2002, Corte dei Conti.
  10. ^ "Dacia Valent ministro". Corriere della Sera. 25 April 1994. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Dimitri Buffa (17 October 2006). "Musulmani moderati minacciati da Dacia Valent". Assemblea Musulmana d'Italia. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Islam: si converte Dacia Valent, cerimonia a Roma". Adnkronos. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Dacia Valent a processo per concorso in rapina". Il Giornale. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Insultò il direttore di Telepadania. Condannata ex parlamentare comunista". VareseNews. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Paolo Granzotto (14 October 2008). "Dacia Valent, insulti sinistri: "Italiani sporchi bianchi"". Il Giornale. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "WHOIS information for kilombo.org". Whois.net. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Il tribunale condanna le offese della Valent". L'Opinione. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Malore stronca Dacia Valent prima europarlamentare di colore". Il Gazzettino. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

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