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Italy guilty of torture at Genoa G8 summit, European court rules

07 aprile 2015 | 12.43
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Italian security forces committed torture against anti-globalisation protesters at the 2001 G8 meeting in Genoa, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

The European court condemned Italy for an overnight raid at the Armando Diaz highschool in the city in July 2001 when hundreds of police attacked around 100 activists and several journalists.

A total of 61 people were injured in the raid, three of them critically, and one British jounalist was left in a coma with rib and spinal injuries.

The court called on Italy to enact changes to its penal code, which it said lacked appropriate measures to punish the crime of torture.

"How sad that it had to be an external entity like the European Court of Human Rights to explain that at Diaz and Bolzaneto torture took place," Daniele Vicari, director of a film about the Diaz highschool raids, wrote on Twitter.

Bolzaneto was a temporary prison camp set up outside Genoa during the G8 summit. Scores of people arrested during the Diaz raid were taken there, beaten and made to sing fascist songs, and women threatened with rape, according to prosecutors.

The case was brought to the European court by Arnaldo Cestaro, who sustained multiple fractures when he was beaten by police during the raid on the highschool. He was 62 at the time.

An Italian court in 2008 convicted 15 officials for mistreating protesters, mainly policemen but also two doctors, while another 30 defendants were cleared of charges inlcuding assault.

The Bolzaneto camp's commander, Biagio Gugliotta, was sentenced to five years , the heaviest penalty handed out at the trial, which lasted nearly three years.

The 2001 meeting of the G8 in Genoa, in Italy's northwest, was one of the most violent in the group's history.

Street battles between demonstrators and police left one Italian protester dead and hundreds of others injured when tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the port city.

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