Saxony: Left supports ex-mayor of Riace

Dresden/Brussels (dpa/sn) - The Saxon Left MEP Cornelia Ernst supports the former Italian mayor Domenico Lucano in his fight for a better refugee policy.

Saxony: Left supports ex-mayor of Riace

Dresden/Brussels (dpa/sn) - The Saxon Left MEP Cornelia Ernst supports the former Italian mayor Domenico Lucano in his fight for a better refugee policy. The former Linke boss in Saxony wants to travel to Riace (Calabria) together with other EU parliamentarians by Saturday, she announced on Thursday. Lucano made headlines for settling hundreds of migrants in his depopulated village. For this he received the Dresden Peace Prize in 2017. In 2021 he was sentenced to 13 years and two months in prison for encouraging illegal immigration. The appeal process is currently underway.

"This is a political process. The criminalization of practical refugee aid must be ended. Domenico Lucano treated refugees as people and offered them prospects. He should now be punished for this," said Ernst of the German Press Agency in Dresden.

Lucano was mayor in Riace and was internationally regarded as a symbol of tolerance. Investigators suspected him and his partner of organizing sham marriages between migrants and residents. He was also accused of irregularities in the use of public funds for the care of refugees. Lucano had always maintained his innocence.

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