Italian police under trial for events at 2001 G8 Genoa meeting

Monday, May 16, 2005

Italian police officers and prison guards have been ordered to stand trial for the alleged abuse of anti-globalization protesters during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. Over 250 people people who attended the event have detailed verbal and physical abuse.

The police took detainees to a holding center outside the city, where they say they were verbally and physically abused, spat at and threatened with rape. In one alleged incident, the guards forced a woman's head down a toilet. Another allegation is that asphyxiating gas was sprayed at protesters in their cells.

Over 60 people were injured while being taken into custody, three critically. One 23-year old protester was shot dead. Twenty-five demonstrators are standing trial on minor charges of looting and ransacking. The police alleged that 93 protesters were in possession of dangerous weapons and resisted arrest, yet Genoa prosecutors have dropped all charges against them.

Meanwhile, the police have been charged with planting evidence and fabricating charges against the demonstrators.

Unfortunately, due to delays in bringing the authorities to justice, the five-year statute of limitations is expected to expire on most of the more serious charges before rulings are given.