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Doctors Accused of G8 Brutality
Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 in the Guardian of London
Doctors Accused of G8 Brutality
by Rory Carroll in Rome
 
Fresh revelations about Italian police brutality at Genoa's G8 summit emerged last night when 20 anti-globalization protesters were released from jail.

Susanna Thomas
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)
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.

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 offenses.

One rioter was killed and more than 300 protesters injured during the summit.

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" by doctors.

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

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