Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italy challenges Strasbourg ruling on prison overcrowding

English
© ANSA

(see related on European Court of Human Rights)
Rome, April 10 - Italy has formally challenged a
ruling by the European Court of Human Rights ordering Italy to
correct the "degrading and inhumane conditions" in its prisons
and to pay 100,000 euros in damages to seven inmates.
In January the Strasbourg-based court harshly criticized
authorities for holding prisoners in crammed cells, specifically
seven men who have been held at prisons in Busto Arsizio and
Piacenza, both located in northern Italy.
The inmates had fewer than three square meters of space
each.
Giovanni Tamburino, the head of Italy's department of
corrections, said the appeal was aimed at giving authorities
more time to address the issue.
"The year we have to abide by the verdict will begin from
the time Strasbourg rules" on the appeal, he said.
At the time of the January ruling, Italian President
Giorgio Napolitano said Italy should be ashamed by the court's
words, while Justice Minister Paola Severino said she wasn't
shocked by the court's criticisms.
"I am deeply humbled but unfortunately, today's sentence of
the European Court of Human Rights does not surprise me," said
Severino.
Three days after the January ruling, Premier Mario Monti
proposed a measure allocating 16 million euros for
prisoner work programs aimed at relieving overcrowding.
The country's prison conditions have long been the source
of criticism from human rights groups.
In December, the Permanent Observatory on Prison Deaths
reported that inmate suicides in Italy are 20 times that of the
general population, caused mostly by "environmental factors" and
"illegal" detention conditions.
The same month, Monti's administration issued a decree
allowing prisoners to serve the last 18 months of their sentence
under house arrest.

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