The case of the Viterbo Attorney General: an important signal against the risk of impunity

The public prosecutor of Perugia has requested charges against the colleague Chief Prosecutor of Viterbo because he did not follow the reports of the regional prison bailiff Stephen Anastasia to alleged violence that took place in the city jail. We’ll see what happens at the preliminary hearing on June 29th.

An important signal to combat any institutional attempt to support itimpunity by anyone holding an official role who commits violence against those they are charged with protecting.

The facts are as follows: In March 2018, a delegation from the Office of Guarantor of prisoners’ rights from the Lazio region visits the Mammagialla prison in Viterbo. Among them is the lawyer Simon Philippi. They conduct interviews with various detainees and note how some of them show signs of it Violence. The stories are all similar: punches in the shower rooms or in those of the agents, places removed from the recording of the internal video cameras.

I still remember the fear in Simona Filippi’s eyes when she told me about a little boy she had met during her visit. They brought it in infirmary. She catches his eye and he lets her know he wants to talk to her. She asks the agents to take him to the interrogation room for a few minutes. do they Resistance: You must go to the infirmary. She insists it’s just a matter of a few minutes. The boy enters the small room, they close the door. He’s slim and baby-faced. He is 21 years old. He knows he only has a few minutes and gets straight to the point. He lifts his shirt and shows his torn body. His name is Hasan Sharaf. He says he was brutally beaten the day before. She reports hearing constant ringing and probably has a ruptured eardrum. asks for help, he says he is afraid of dyingthat foreign prisoners are often beaten. Then time runs out, he has to go back to the agents. This will be the first and last time Simona will see him alive.

In the weeks that followed, Stefano Anastasia submitted a detailed statement to the public prosecutor’s office. Describes in detail everything that the various prisoners said with whom they had the opportunity to speak. Describes the meeting with Hassan. Describes conversations with other inmates. But the prosecutor will ignore it.

A few more weeks go by. I remember Simona Filippi calling the office of Antigone in which he tells us that the boy he hanged himself and died. He was too scared to stay in this prison and he had found his only way out on his own. There won’t be another meeting where you don’t tell us about your guilt at not being able to save him. Nevertheless, in August the prosecutor Basket the guarantor’s complaint. Incredibly, he counts it among the events that do not constitute a criminal charge. The procedure is then initiated by the Attorney General of Rome.

Today’s decision by the Perugia Public Prosecutor’s Office sends an important signal in defense of the most vulnerable. Hassan Sharaf came to Italy at the age of 14 on a barge. He was in prison for a few grams of hashish. Only after his death did the regional guarantor learn that the boy was said to have been in prison juvenile detention center, as he was serving a four-month prison sentence for a crime committed when he was a minor. Live on the fringes like so many of those who fill our prisons. Lives struggling to protect themselves, and against whom the dishonest and violent small fraction of prison staff has all too often had cover and protection in the past Be silent.

Today there is talk of an interference with the law that makes torture a crime. TO Santa Maria Capua Vetere Europe’s largest torture trial is underway. You will remember the video images of the brutal beatings against an entire department that took place during the lockdown. There are over a hundred accused.

Changing the torture law now, with the government’s thorny official justifications, means calling this process into question as well. AND kill again too many Hassan Sharafs in our history.

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