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Europe rights court rules 2001 Italian G8 summit death probe inadequate

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled [judgment text; press release] Tuesday that Italy was negligent in completing an accurate investigation of the death of a protester at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa [BBC backgrounder]. The court awarded €40,000 to the family of Carlo Giuliani, the protester who died after being shot by an Italian police officer as his van was mobbed, finding:

At no point was any attempt made to examine the overall context and consider whether the authorities had planned and managed the public-order operation in such a way as to prevent incidents of the kind that caused the death of Carlo Giuliani. ...

In the Court's view, the investigation should have examined these aspects at least of the organisation and management of the public-order operation, as it regards the fatal shot as being closely linked to the situation in which [the officers] found themselves. In other words, the investigation was not adequate in that it did not seek to determine who had been responsible for that situation.

The court did not find any violation of the other charges, including those that Italy had violated the right to life, used excessive force, and incorrectly examined the case. The court also decided that the organizing group of the G8 had taken all necessary precautions to avoid danger to law enforcement and protesters.

In November of 2008, an Italian court acquitted [JURIST report] the majority of police officers involved in other alleged G8 human rights violations. In July 2008, an Italian court found 15 police force members and medical staff guilty [JURIST report] of abusing the protesters, but absolved 30 more. On the night of July 21, 2001, police forces conducted a raid on the Diaz school, which was being used as headquarters by some of the protesters. Over the course of the summit as a whole, more than 100 protesters were injured and one was killed. Immediately after the protests and reports of abuse, Amnesty International called for a full investigation [press release] into the mistreatment. In July 2006, the group urged the Italian government to institute reforms to prevent future abuses [press release], but said that the government had not done so in the five years since the incident.

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