Italy: Still no justice 10 years after the Genoa G8
Ten years after the Genoa G8 demonstration, few investigations or prosecutions have taken place and the Italian authorities have still not publicly condemned and apologized for the ill treatment of protesters , Amnesty International said today, as it called on Italy to strengthen measures against arbitrary and abusive use of force by police.
“Victims and their families deserve an apology,” said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.
“Italy has never conducted an independent, thorough and effective inquiry into the policing of the July 2001 demonstrations. As a result, 10 years on, the brutality meted out on the streets of Genoa has gone largely unpunished.”
Over 200,000 people took part in anti-globalization demonstrations in Genoa during the 2001 G8 summit.
Although the vast majority protested peacefully, some demonstrations involved violence, resulting in significant casualties and extensive property damage.
By the end of the summit, protester Carlo Giuliani had been shot dead by a law enforcement officer, and several hundred people had been injured in clashes with police.
A sizable body of evidence shows that protesters were mistreated by law enforcement officers during the street demonstrations but also in the Armando Diaz school, which served as a dormitory, and in the Bolzaneto temporary detention facility. .
Over the years, Amnesty International has welcomed the opening of trials on the mistreatment of protesters at the Armando Diaz school and the Bolzaneto military barracks.
However, as torture is not a crime on the books of Italy’s domestic legislation, officers who may have tortured demonstrators have never been charged with this crime. Moreover, prosecution of many of the criminal offences with which officers were charged, was time-barred, leading to impunity.
The Italian authorities have also failed to established effective mechanisms to prevent arbitrary and abusive use of force by police. Neither have they adopted concrete measures to ensure investigation and prosecution of all law enforcement agents suspected of torture, excessive use of force and other human rights violations.
“Since Genoa 2001, Italy has seen 10 long years of failure to make its police and internal security forces accountable to the law for the crimes committed against protestors,” said Nicola Duckworth.
Italy has yet to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture or establish an independent national preventive mechanism for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment at the domestic level.
“The Italian authorities must immediately review their policing practices, and make sure their officers are equipped and trained to only use force and firearms as a last resort.” Nicola Duckworth said.