Italy calls on Serbia to free photoreporter

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Rome, April 3 (IANS/AKI) The Italian government on Tuesday urged Serbia to release from prison “without delay” photojournalist Mauro Donato, who was arrested last month on suspicion of robbing three Afghan migrants.

During a meeting in Rome with Serbia’s Ambassdor Goran Aleksic, the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Italians abroad, Luigi Maria Vignali repeated to Aleksic the government’s wish for Donato be freed from custody “without delay”, the ministry stated.

Tuesday’s meeting between Aleksic and Vignali followed previous “frequent contact” with the Serbian authorities “both in Rome and through the Italian embassy in Belgrade,” the statement went on.

Italian diplomatic envoys have made daily visits to Aleksic, who has since 16 March been held in prison in Serbia, where his physical and psychological state is said to have deteriorated.

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The three Afghans who initially accused Donato of robbing them have since withdrawn their accusations according to media reports.

–IANS/AKI

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