Europe rights court finds Italy police beating at 2001 G-8 summit was torture News
Europe rights court finds Italy police beating at 2001 G-8 summit was torture

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [judgment, in French; press release] Tuesday that the beating of a 62-year-old man by an Italian police officer during the Genoa G-8 summit in July of 2001 amounted to torture. Arnaldo Cestaro, the injured, was in a school when police stormed the building and, though he was being complicit and surrendering, beat him to the point where he suffered fractures and other injuries. The school was made available by the authorities for use by demonstrators, and the aforementioned act of violence occurred after a police riot squad stormed the building to carry out a search. The court found that “there had been a violation of the Convention on account of acts of torture sustained by the applicant and of the Italian criminal legislation, which was inadequate for the punishment of such acts and not an effective deterrent against their reputation.” The ECHR awarded Cestaro €45,000 and urged Italy to change its criminal laws to hold police accountable for such acts.

In November 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. In August 2010 the ECHR ruled [judgment] that Italy was negligent [JURIST report] in completing an accurate investigation of the death of a protester at the summit. 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. 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.