De Martino's son, Luca, was taken from him 13 years ago when his mother moved to Australia. The two were only reunited when Luca turned 18 and traveled to Italy to find his father. The Italian site AGI posts a message curiously subtitled "on behalf of the Italian Prime Minister's office" which says:
I believe Nicola did more in ten minutes than we did in ten years. Nicola is not crazy, he is moderate and certainly somebody who suffered a lot, very much. But who wouldn't suffer if they would take away your child for 13 years?And:
"In Italy in the past ten years 100 fathers committed suicide, in Europe two thousand in the past year. Our country has strict laws on the sufferance of animals but forgets about some human beings. It is time to change things and the gesture of Nicola must be interpreted in this sense".
Did De Martino do the right thing? Had he actually set light to himself, I would have to say "no". But he didn't, and raised the profile of a desperate and widely ignored cause.
Technorati Tags: Italy, fathers' rights, international child abduction