Placebo’s Brian Molko sued by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for defamation

Placebo's Brian Molko sued by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for defamation
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The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, is suing Brian Molko, the lead singer of the rock band Placebo, for defamation. The singer publicly labelled her a ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’.

Brian Molko made these comments during a performance by his band at the Sonic Park festival in July. The festival was held in Stupinigi, near Turin. “Giorgia Meloni, piece of shit, fascist, racist,” he appeared to shout in footage circulating on social media. This footage was posted by fans who attended the concert.

A week later, prosecutors opened an investigation into Molko’s remarks for insulting state institutions, according to The Guardian. The Italian Penal Code provides for prosecution for defamation. According to the code, anyone who “publicly defames the republic” – which includes the government, parliament, courts, and the military – can be fined from 1,000 to 5,000 euros.

In response to the lawsuit against Molko, the International Press Institute has called for a “thorough review” of Italy’s defamation laws. They argue that these laws should be consistent with freedom of speech protections but currently are not.

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