The Dutch couple who were beaten and robbed after camping by an abandoned farm close to Rome should not have stopped where they did, Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno is reported as saying.
‘If you camp illegally in some god-forsaken spot it is very difficult to guarantee your safety,’ Alemanno is reported as saying.
Two men – said to be Romanian shepherds – have since been arrested for the robbery and rape.
Paul and Wilma van Munster were on a sponsored cycle ride to raise money for charity. They are currently recovering in a Rome hospital.
Reports suggest that the couple had asked the men who are said to have attacked them for advice about where to camp.
Alemanno’s comments have caused controversy in Italy and there have been numerous calls for him to apologise. Alemanno, was elected on promises to crack down on crime committed by illegal immigrants.
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