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Muslim farmhands will not be forced to break their Ramadan fast by drinking water in the fields during the day nor will they be fired for refusing to do so, the Coldiretti farmers' union said on Friday.

The union explained that a local farming safety committee in Mantua on Thursday did not issue an 'order' telling Muslim farmworkers they had to drink water, but had only released a series of 'recommendations' regarding health and safety.

Coldiretti issued its clarification after the president of its chapter in Mantua, Roberto Cagliari, who is also the local farmers safety committee chairman, said that Muslim farmhands who refused to drink water during the day 'will be temporarily suspended from work and if they repeat the infraction, they will be fired".

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