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Rights court condemns Italy again over Genoa G8

Italian laws inadequate to punish torture says Strasbourg

(ANSA) - Strasbourg, June 22 - The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday again condemned Italy over police brutality during the during the Genoa G8 in 2001. The court said Italy's laws were inadequate to punish torture committed by the security forces in a ruling related to a night blitz at the Diaz school, which was being used as a billet for protesters. The court also condemned Italy for not having adequately punished those responsible for what happened in Genoa.
    In the night assault on the Diaz school, hundreds of police attacked about 100 activists and a few journalists, wounding 82 and seriously injuring 61 - three critically and one, British journalist Mark Covell, left in a coma with rib and spinal injuries. Later, at the barracks in Bolzaneto, some 252 demonstrators rounded up at the Diaz and another school, the Pascali, said they were spat at, verbally and physically humiliated or threatened with rape while being held.
    Officers planted evidence including two Molotov cocktails and hammers and knives from a nearby construction site to justify the raid. Amnesty International called the event "the most serious suspension of democratic rights in a Western country since the Second World War".
    In April Italy admitted responsibility for police brutality at the Bolzaneto barracks and agreed to pay 45,000 euros each to six citizens for moral and material damages as well as court costs. During the 2001 G8, one protester was shot dead while attacking a Carabinieri policeman, shops and businesses were ransacked, and hundreds of people injured in clashes between police and demonstrators.


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