Fifteen officials found guilty of abusing Genoa G8 protesters

Amnesty International welcomes the fact that the Italian magistrates
have held individuals accountable for the brutalities that occurred in
the Bolzaneto detention facility in Genoa, Italy.

“This is a good first step towards accountability for the human rights
abuses that occurred during the G8 summit in Genoa, but more needs to
be done to ensure that the whole truth emerges and that those
responsible are held fully accountable for their actions” Amnesty
International said.

On 14 July 2008, 15 people were found guilty of, amongst other things,
ill-treating protestors detained in the Bolzaneto detention facility
during the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, and of abuse of office. The
sentences handed down by an Italian court ranged from five months to
five years. Those sentenced included police officers, prison guards and
doctors. They are expected to appeal against the guilty verdicts. It is
unlikely that any of those sentenced will actually serve time in prison
because criminal liability for their offences will have expired under
Italy’s statute of limitations by the time the appeal process is
completed. Another 30 defendants were cleared of charges, including

Amnesty International is concerned, however, that torture is not
criminalized in the Italian Criminal Code. This means that no one could
be prosecuted for torture in connection with the events even if the
ill-treatment the protestors suffered may have amounted to torture.  

Since the events in Genoa in 2001, Amnesty International has received
several reports of police ill-treatment and excessive use of force by
law enforcement officials in Italy. The organization, along with
several UN bodies, including the UN Committee Against Torture, has
repeatedly called on the Italian government to put into place effective
mechanisms of accountability for reported human rights abuses by law
enforcement officials.

“Accountability for human rights abuses committed by state officials,
including law enforcement officials, must be the norm. The Italian
authorities must implement the recommendations of the relevant
international bodies and organizations to this effect in order to
prevent such events happening further,” Amnesty International said.

On 20-22 July 2001, the Italian city of Genoa hosted a G8 summit. It is
estimated that over 200,000 people participated in anti-globalization
demonstrations on the streets of Genoa. By the end of the summit, one
protester, Carlo Giuliani, had been shot dead and hundreds of people
had been injured during clashes with law enforcement officers.