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Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Italy, U.N. Doc. A/54/44, paras. 163-169 (1999).



Convention Abbreviation: CAT
Twenty-second session
26 April-14 May 1999


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

163. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Italy (CAT/C/44/Add.2) at its 374th, 377th and 381st meetings, held on 3, 4 and 6 May 1999 (CAT/C/SR.374, 377 and 381) and has adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction

164. The Committee welcomes the timely submission of the third periodic report of Italy and thanks the representatives of the State party for their good oral presentation and their collaborative and constructive attitude in the dialogue with the Committee.

2. Positive aspects

165. The Committee welcomes:

(a) The introduction in Parliament of a bill aiming at adding the crime of torture as an autonomous crime and the setting­up of a special fund for the victims of acts of torture;

(b) The introduction of a number of modifications in the regime of precautionary measures to protect arrested persons and detainees from ill­treatment or torture, such as the rule requiring that questioning outside the court has to be documented by sound or audio­visual recordings (Law No. 332 of 1995);

(c) The passing by Parliament of Law No. 40 of 6 March 1998 governing immigration and aliens, which, in particular, grants the aliens who are legally residing in the territory of the State party, parity with the Italian citizens;

(d) The assurances contained in the report that a different and new policy of accepting foreigners is to be energetically carried forward;

(e) The consideration by the Italian Parliament of a bill that accords humanitarian protection and the right of asylum and intends to institute an organic asylum regime;

(f) The fact that foreign prisoners who are granted measures alternative to detention may also be granted temporary work permits.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention

166. While it does not underestimate the difficulties created by the presence of a large number of foreigners of different cultures and nationalities on the Italian territory, the Committee expects that the new law on immigration along with the continued efforts on the part of the authorities will help ease the situation, especially since many of these foreigners had to flee their countries of origin due to severe conditions of unrest.

4. Subjects of concern

167. Despite the efforts of the authorities, the prison system remains overcrowded and lacking in facilities which makes the overall conditions of detention not conducive to the efforts of preventing inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In this regard, the Committee notes with concern, that reports of cases of ill­treatment in prison continued and that many of them involved foreigners.

168. The Committee is also concerned over the lack of training in the field of human rights, in particular, the prohibition against torture to the troops participating in peacekeeping operations and the inadequate number of military police accompanying them, which was responsible in part for the unfortunate incidents that occurred in Somalia.

5. Recommendations

169. The Committee recommends that:

(a) The legislative authorities in the State party proceed to incorporate into domestic law the crime of torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention and make provision of an appropriate system of compensation for torture victims;

(b) The Committee be informed of the progress and result of the judicial proceedings resulting from the incidents in Somalia;

(c) All prisoners' correspondence addressed to international procedures of investigation and settlement be excluded from "censor checks" by prison personnel or other authorities.



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