COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
146. The Committee considered the second periodic report of Italy
(CAT/C/25/Add.4) at its 214th and 215th meetings, held on 27 April
1995 (CAT/C/SR.214 and 215), and adopted the following conclusions
147. The Committee appreciates the submission of the periodic report
of Italy and expresses its thanks for a good oral presentation. It
notes, however, that the report does not properly comply with the
Committee's guidelines for this kind of report (CAT/C/14), especially
in regard to providing data and replies requested previously. In addition,
the general report was not accompanied by basic data on the State
party, as required by the guidelines. The Committee was none the less
able to engage in a constructive dialogue with the delegation that
met many of its concerns.
148. The Committee welcomes Italy's firm commitment to the protection
of human rights, as reflected in the signing of many agreements, both
regional and universal.
149. It also notes that a very constructive step has been taken in
authorizing the publication of the report prepared by the European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture further to a visit to Italy.
150. The significant increase in Italy's contribution to the United
Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture is very gratifying.
151. Also encouraging are the provisions of Law No. 296, pertaining
to work by prisoners, the new alternative measures to imprisonment,
such as house arrest, and the rules of Law No. 492, relating to the
transfer of prisoners.
152. Lastly, the State party is to be congratulated on fully abolishing
the death penalty.
C. Factors and
difficulties impeding implementation
153. Like the Human Rights Committee, this Committee notes something
of a tendency to discriminatory treatment by sectors of the police
force and prison warders with regard to foreigners, entailing violation
of their rights. Furthermore, the existence of a large number of public
officials involved in acts of corruption is not a positive contribution.
154. The Committee notes with concern the persistence of cases of
ill treatment in prisons by police officers. It even notes a dangerous
trend towards some racism, since the victims are either from foreign
countries or belong to minorities.
155. Non-governmental organizations of proven reliability have informed
the Committee of a series of serious acts of torture, and in some
cases deaths, of detainees. The penalties on the members of the forces
of law and order are not commensurate with the seriousness of these
156. Similarly, a matter of some concern is the number of unconvicted
prisoners, the overcrowding in prisons and the suspension, even temporary,
of humanitarian rules on the treatment of prisoners.
157. The Committee suggests that the State party should:
(a) Continue to examine the possibility of including in its criminal
law the concept of torture set out in the Convention;
(b) Better guarantee the right of a victim of torture to be compensated
by the State and to provide some programme of rehabilitation for him;
(c) Monitor effective compliance with safeguards during preliminary
custody, especially access to a doctor and legal counsel;
(d) Make sure that complaints of ill treatment and torture are promptly
and effectively investigated and, where appropriate, impose an appropriate
and effective penalty on the persons responsible;
(e) Establish more training programmes for law-enforcement and medical
158. The Committee also asks to be sent the legal texts that were
requested, together with the remaining information asked for by members
of the Committee (results of ongoing trials, statistics, judicial
organization, etc.) and hopes that the next periodic report will discuss
all the measures adopted.