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Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Italy, U.N. Doc. A/50/44, paras. 146-158 (1995).



Convention Abbreviation: CAT


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 and recommendations.

A. Introduction
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.

B. Positive aspects
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.

D. Subjects of concern
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 acts.

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.

E. Recommendations
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 personnel.

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.



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