Source: Indymedia Lombardia
31 October 2009
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The death of Stefano Cucchi, 31, killed in prison in Rome in a beating for which we don’t know the culprits, and perhaps we’ll never know, it is unfortunately just the latest in a long series. The best known are the stories of Marcello Lonzi, Aldo Bianzino, Niki April Gatti, Manuel Eliantonio. People arrested for crimes of minimal severity, no criminal record or with a small one, murdered or "suicided" in prison and nobody knows by whom, how, why.
What is certain is that they entered prison alive and in good health and their bodies were returned to families covered with wounds and injuries that no one was able to explain. Each case is different. Niki was arrested in an investigation on a computer fraud, Aldo for having cultivated marijuana, Manuel for driving under the influence of drugs and attempting to escape. But the point that unites them all is that there is not one valid reason in the world that could justify their deaths in jail. They weren’t dangerous criminals, they were ordinary people who at most had made a mistake or met the wrong people. Unfortunately, their stories are just the tip of the iceberg of a situation of widespread illegality and abuse in italian prisons.
The overcrowding is partly responsible for it, the effect of two bad laws. One is the Bossi-Fini law, which made immigrants illegal if they lose their jobs or work illegally, made worse by the recent "security decree" that makes undocumented immigrants actually criminals. Indeed, the immigrants dead in detention or custody are innumerable, but nobody cares because unlike the cases above, they almost never have a family in Italy that can demand justice. In 9 years in Italian prisons, the dead were more than 1500, more than one third classified as suicides. It’s very rare that about these deaths there are serious investigations to determine whether they were really suicides and accidental deaths. Another law that kills it’s the Fini-Giovanardi law, which provides for the arrest and imprisonment for possession of even small quantities of marijauna. Many people, who did not constitute a serious danger to society and could have been helped, killed themselves in prison in recent years.
Laws "harsh" and "tough" cannot have good results. The result we get is to kill people who may have made mistakes, but not deserved death. And in the end are normal people who really suffer the "harsh" laws and the bad situation of Italian prisons. Very violent and dangerous criminals, since almost always become "famous" in the newspapers and TVs, are never killed and beaten in prison. Politicians never go to jail here, even if they corrupt, they threaten, they do business with the Mafia and they sniff rivers of cocaine. And so we have an Italy where the real criminals are out or at least are doing better than those who committed petty crimes, that should not be lumped together with violent criminals and murderers.
Everything’s normal in a country where the real state of "security" is very bad because politicians for years has done nothing but take away the funds to the police, obstructing justice and attack the judiciary to protect the privileges of a corrupt and criminal caste.