8 Italian prison officers arrested, 23 suspended for beating prisoners

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Representative image
Representative image

Rome [Italy], July 1 (ANI/Sputnik): The Italian prosecutor's office issued more than 50 arrest orders for individuals involved in the case of the beating of inmates in a prison in southern Italy, Il Post newspaper reported on Thursday.

In April last year, a wave of protests swept through Italian prisons as inmates demanded the authorities implement measures to combat the pandemic. Inmates of the Santa Maria Capua Vetera prison requested the administration to provide them with medical masks and antiseptics after news emerged that some prisoners have contracted the virus.

The protests lasted for several days as prisoners refused to return to their cells, knocked on bars and tried to fence off the corridor in the prison block. On April 6, the administration announced an "emergency general search," during which 300 officers beat prisoners for four hours using rubber batons. According to Il Post, the use of batons is allowed only in dangerous situations, and not during the search.

The investigation into the conduct of the prison staff began in June last year.

The story gained traction in late June this year after the media released CCTV footage of the beatings and the prosecution's arrest orders.

So far, eight prison officials were detained on charges of ill-treatment, torture, forgery and deception. Another 18 people were placed under house arrest, and 23 were suspended from official duties.

The high-profile case was reported to Italian Justice Minister of Justice Marta Cartabia, who demanded "a full account on every stage of information exchange and the entire chain of responsibility," Il Post said. She condemned the incident, describing it as "a betrayal of the constitution," the newspaper added. (ANI/Sputnik)

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