Italy police raid Venice mosque during prayer for ignoring coronavirus rules

The raid was carried out today and more than 200 worshippers ordered home. The local council says the Imam in charge, its religious leader, had ignored the city’s new rules about holding meetings because of the risk involved. He has pledged his ignorance of the orders approved in Venice which have also included the closure of museums, schools, libraries, museums and tourist attractions until at least March 2nd. The annual Carnival which attracts up to 200,000 people was also cancelled.

A statement from Venice council confirmed: “This morning in Piazzale Madonna Pellegrina 1, in a room used as a mosque, the Friday religious was being held, with almost 200 people. Inside the rooms located on the ground floor there were about 90 people, while as many were outside waiting for the next function.”

“The intervention of the local police of Mestre, with a team of patrolling agents in the area, interrupted the prayer meeting for non-compliance with the contingent and urgent ordinance of the Ministry of Health and the President of the Region, which prohibits events with meetings of people. The Ordinance also postponed all religious rites.”

“It is to be noted that many of the participants were equipped with surgical masks but, informed of the violation for public health reasons, they all left without protest.”

“The agents proceeded to clear the premises while the Imam present was reported for failure to comply with the Authority’s provisions, pursuant to article 650 of the Criminal Code.

“He admitted that he saw more people on his premises than usual and declared that he was not aware of the ban.”

Venice has also ordered the disinfecting the city, both on land and water.

Venice council has yet to announce what it will do with the current ban when it expires on March 2nd.

Ten regions across Italy are on lockdown, with more than 650 of coronavirus confirmed and 17 deaths. Regions including Lombardy, near Milan, and Veneto, near Venice, have been affected the worst.

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