U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information transmitted to the Government

359. By letter dated 29 October 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information indicating that people held in the custody of law enforcement agents and prison guards were sometimes subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The most common forms alleged were repeated kicks and punches and prolonged beatings with batons, and sometimes large numbers of prisoners were involved. Incidents of that nature had reportedly taken place, in particular, in the course of 1992 and the first months of 1993, at the Asinara prison, Buoncammino prison (Cagliari, Sardinia), Canton Mombello prison (Brescia), Gazzi prison (Messina, Sicily), Padua district prison, Pianosa Island prison, Poggioreale prison (Naples), Regina Coeli prison (Rome) and Secondigliano prison (Naples). The individual cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

360. Ciro Esposito, an ex-drug addict, and a friend were stopped by the carabinieri while riding a motor-scooter in central Naples on 25 June 1992 and accused of stealing the vehicle. They were arrested and taken to Marianella carabinieri offices in Naples where, between 4.30 p.m. and their release at 9.30 p.m., six carabinieri reportedly beat them with bars, including an iron handle. On the morning of 26 June, Ciro Esposito reportedly sought medical treatment for his injuries at the Cardarelli hospital in Naples. The medical certificate issued by the hospital apparently referred to an injury to his left wrist and various abrasions requiring up to 10 days to heal. It was also alleged that the captain of the Marianella carabinieri station, together with a marshall said to have participated in the alleged ill-treatment, called at Ciro Esposito's home asking him not to proceed with a formal complaint about his treatment.

361. Carmelo La Rosa, a heroin addict, appeared before the Messina Appeal Court, Sicily, on 24 June 1992, for a hearing of his appeal against a sentence which he was serving in Gazzi prison. During the hearing he reportedly informed the court that he was subject to severe drug withdrawal crises and that after each such crisis the prison guards beat him with batons. The Court reportedly acknowledged that there were clear signs of violent blows caused by a blunt instrument on his chest and shoulders and ordered that his statement be immediately passed to the Public Prosecutor. During the night of 24/25 June, Carmelo La Rosa was found dead, hanging by the neck from a trouser-belt tied to the bars of his cell-window.

362. Biagio Mazzara, an inmate of Padua district prison, was reportedly beaten in October 1992 outside the prison infirmary following an altercation with a guard. His lawyer reportedly lodged a formal complaint in which it was alleged that Biagio Mazzara had been punched, kicked, beaten with a belt buckle and had burning cigarettes extinguished on his forehead. The results of a forensic examination were reportedly consistent with the above allegations.

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