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Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Italian paper names paedophiles
Funeral of Graziella Manzi
The father of Graziella Manzi mourns his daughter
An Italian newspaper has published a list of 16 convicted paedophiles amid national outrage over the recent killings of two young girls.

The daily Libero gave the paedophiles' names, their sentence and a brief description of each case. It did not say where the crimes took place, give the paedophiles' ages or say where they live.

The chief editor of the right-wing, Milan-based paper, Vittorio Feltri, said more names would be published in the next few days.

"There are moments when it is worth the risk, and this is one of them," he wrote in a front-page editorial.

'Naming and shaming'

The naming of sex offenders follows the controversy in the UK over the "naming and shaming" campaign by the News of the World newspaper.

The campaign was called off after a wave of vigilante attacks and the targeting of several innocent people.

Publishing lists of paedophiles helps sell more papers, but it doesn't help save children

Gad Lerner, Rai Uno television news

A small magazine in Luxembourg recently published a list of alleged paedophiles resident in Belgium.

In Italy, the recent crimes against children triggered an emotional debate, but the government says it opposes publishing lists of known paedophiles.

On Friday night a four-year-old Tunisian girl, Hagere Kilani, was snatched in the northwestern town of Imperia, then raped and killed.

The funeral of the murdered eight-year-old
Thousands attended the funeral of Graziella Manzi

Police are seeking a Romanian immigrant for questioning.

Then on Saturday night eight-year-old Graziella Manzi disappeared in the southern village of Andria. Her body was later found in a field, and an autopsy revealed she had been sexually abused and then burned alive.

An 18-year-old youth with a history of mental illness has confessed to the crime and is being held in jail.

Thousands of mourners attended the young girl's funeral in Andria on Monday.

A third child died this week after being hit on the head by a man living with his mother.

Tough punishments

Some politicians, such as Alessandra Mussolini - a right-wing MP who is the grand-daughter of Italy's former Fascist dictator - have called for draconian penalties for child abusers, including chemical castration.

There have also been calls for the return of capital punishment.

Libero's list was criticised by the editor-in-chief of the Turin daily La Stampa, Marcello Sorgi, and the news director of Rai Uno state television, Gad Lerner.

"Publishing lists of paedophiles helps sell more papers, but it doesn't help save children," said Mr Lerner.

Italy's Social Affairs Minister, Livia Turco, says publication of such lists would be useless and even perhaps dangerous as this could encourage vigilante action.

She wants parents and children to be educated in how to handle suspected paedophiles.

She has blamed Catholic culture for creating a taboo about the whole subject.

The number of cases of sexual abuse of children reported to police in Italy has almost doubled during the past four years.

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See also:

14 Aug 00 | UK Politics
'Paedophile blitz: no rush'
06 Aug 00 | UK
The story of Megan's Law
24 Jul 00 | UK
To name and shame
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