1. ANSA.it
  2. English
  3. General News
  4. Six prison officers arrested for 'torturing' inmate

Six prison officers arrested for 'torturing' inmate

Torture, GBH charges for chief warder at Reggio Calabria jail

(ANSA) - ROME, NOV 28 - Six Italian prison officers including the head warder at Reggio Calabria Prison were arrested for 'torturing' an inmate at the southern Italian jail on Monday.
    The six were placed under house arrest.
    They have been charged with torture and grievous bodily harm against a prisoner at the Panzera Prison.
    There have been several recent cases of mistreatment of prisoners in Italian jails.
    Some 45 people including prison officers, doctors, officials and interim wardens of Ivrea Prison in northwestern Italy have been placed under investigation on suspicion of beating and 'torturing' inmates at the jail north of Turin, judicial sources said last Tuesday.
    They may face charges of torture with physical and psychological violence against numerous prisoners, making false public statements and correlated crimes, the sources said.
    The alleged cases of violence against inmates took place on 10 occasions between 2015 and 2016, Ivrea's prisoner guarantor said.
    Prisoners were frequently beaten with kicks, punches and truncheons, he said.
    When the inmates ended up in the infirmary, complicit doctors allegedly drew up false reports that they had sustained their injuries after slipping in their cells or the showers, the guarantor said.
    Warders also allegedly claimed the prisoners were self-harming and their bruises proved it.
    Ivrea is not the first Italian prison where inmates have been allegedly brutalised.
    In July all 105 prison officers, penitentiary officials and local health agency officials were sent to trial over a brutal punitive raid on inmates at a prison at Santa Maria Capua Vetere near Caserta north of Naples on 6 April 2020.
    The trial into the violence, which was meted out as punishment for a riot, began on November 7.
    Guards allegedly went on a rampage of violence to punish inmates for rioting.
    Overcrowding and COVID fears sparked riots in several prisons at the height of the first lockdown in spring 2020, when many inmates were hurt, and some died, mainly from overdoses of drugs pillaged from jail infirmaries.
    The defendants are accused of crimes include torture, abuse of authority, making false declarations and cooperation in the culpable homicide of an Algerian prisoner.
    A preliminary investigations judge (GIP) said prisoners were made to strip and kneel and beaten with guards wearing their helmets so as not to be identified in what he called "a horrible massacre".
    Some 15 men were also put into solitary without any justification, the GIP said.
    Police reportedly found chats on the suspects' phones including, before the alleged violence, saying "We'll kill them like veal calves" and "tame the beasts", and afterwards, saying "four hours of hell for them", "no one got away", and "(we used) the Poggioreale system", referring to a tough Naples prison.
    Some of the alleged rioters had their hair cut and beards shaved off.
    Outgoing Justice Minister Marta Cartabia has said that CCTV footage of the violence showed that the officers had betrayed the Italian Constitution. (ANSA).


Change cookie consent