flint | 19.05.2005 18:06 | Repression
Here comes the go-ahead for the second big trial to the police forces for the events of Genoa G8 four years ago. 45 indictments to cops, carabinieri, penitentiary staff and doctors for abuse of power, bodily harm, personal injuries, affronts, threats and falsity in public documents for claiming that the prisoners had been informed of their rights, and violation of the european norms against torture. The charge of apology to fascism has been ruled out despite reports of fascist insults and hideous orders such as shouting “Viva il Duce”, but according to the documents presented by the prosecution what happened in Bolzaneto amounts to a violation of art.3 of the european convention of human rights that prohibits torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. Since Italian law does not provide for a specific charge for degrading and inhuman treatment, Genoa’s public prosecutor office had to resort to the different charges mentioned above which have a shorter running of limitation. It will be, in fact, a race against prescription: before january 2008 it will be necessary to go as far as to convictions of first degree to secure at least compensation to the 150 plaintiffs admitted to the trial for Bolzaneto.
For most of the episodes of violence- fingers parted till they were given a wrench, strokes, stinging spray in cells- victims and witnesses have identified their assaulters, and identification would have involved many more officiers if only it had been allowed from the start, soon after the release of prisoners; instead foreigners were expulsed and only called to give a statement one or two years later, and Italians have waited a long time to see the photos, which quality was anyway very poor.
On the contrary, police inspectors and underofficiers who were responsible for the cells will answer for their behaviour and those of their subordinates and thus for acts of violence that they could have prevented. It is clear that in the barrack there was a spread atmosphere of violence and abuses, starting with the ‘welcome committee’ of cops in the courtyard and in the corridors arranged in rows to beat up the prisoners passing through. Judge De Matteis underlined that things went far beyond “any conjecture of further limitation of the prisoners freedom, also with forms of severity not allowed. We cannot see in fact how, for instance, forcing a person to bend his head into an urinal could be considered a ‘measure of severity not allowed’. Such actions appears, for their ferocious gratuitousness, totally irrelevant to any notion of ‘measure of severity’, be it allowed or not, in so far as they do not pursue the aim of limiting and controlling one person’s freedom, but only to humiliate his/her character.”
Full article (italian) http://www.ilmanifesto.it/Quotidiano-archivio/17-Maggio-2005/art68.html