In Bologna last week ahead of regional elections, the far-right opposition leader Salvini – surrounded by cameras – buzzed the intercom of an apartment in a neighbourhood where he said he was told drugs were sold, asking the resident of Tunisian extraction if it was true he was a dealer.
The widely circulated videos of Salvini sparked outrage, and Tunisia’s ambassador to Italy condemned the media stunt.
The teenager, who was born in Italy, later described being humiliated by the event, and said he had sought the assistance of a lawyer.
“Facebook has taken the shameful video down from Matteo Salvini’s page,” said the resident’s lawyer, Cathy La Torre, on her own Facebook page.
“This live video has wreaked havoc on Yassin’s life,” La Torre said. “Yassin, with no criminal record, a 17-year-old Italian, soccer player, found himself identified throughout Italy as a drug dealer,” she said.
After the event, Salvini said he did not regret his actions.
Salvini’s pre-election campaigning failed to bring a League victory in the key region of Emilia Romagna, held historically by the left.
For months before Sunday’s elections, Salvini claimed that an upset would bring about the collapse of Italy’s coalition government, but voters opted instead for the incumbant candidate of the Democratic Party.