Fresh revelations about Italian police brutality at Genoa's G8 summit
emerged last night when 20 anti-globalization protesters were released
Police doctors participated in the torture, humiliation, threats
of rape and deprivation of water, food, sleep and medical care inflicted
on those detained in the wake of last month's riots, they said.
American student Susanna Thomas addresses journalists in Milan's
Linate airport, late Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2001, after being released
from an Italian prison. Thomas, 21, of Warren, N.J., and member
of the pacifist Christian Quakers, was arrested July 22 outside
of Genoa with an Austrian theater group that had been staging
performances during the Group of Eight summit. The German writing
on her T-shirt says: "Freedom for all political prisoners."
(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Most of the released were part of Austrian group Publix Theatre,
whose skits about hardline Black Bloc anarchists were allegedly
mistaken by police for the real thing.
A Genoa court released the 15 Austrians, three Americans, a Slovak
and a Swede, but said they may yet face charges for public order
One rioter was killed and more than 300 protesters injured during
Stefania Galante, 29, of Padova, was forced to stand spread-eagled
against the cell wall for two hours while guards insulted and intimidated
fellow detainees. "They were threatening girls who didn't have their
legs open, telling them they would be raped with the clubs. It was
surreal. I couldn't believe it was happening.
"It looked like we were either back in time, or in some other country,
in some other reality. Seeing that happen in Italy was unbelievable."
Most of the complaints focused on Bolzaneto, a barracks used for
hundreds of detainees, including those beaten up during a police
raid on the protesters' headquarters.
Genoa officials are investigating possible "improper behavior"
Jose Luis Sicilia, from Spain, said he was forced to undress and
do push-ups when he arrived at Bolzaneto even though he had two
broken ribs and a head wound.
"One day they entered with an electrocardiogram machine and they
started to wet my chest and ankles while a policeman was smiling
saying to me 'electroshocks, electroshocks'."
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001