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European Court of Human Rights: Italy condemned for torture for the facts occurred during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001

With the judgment issued on 7 April 2015 in the case of Cestaro v. Italy (application no. 6884/11), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) condemned Italy for the violation of both the procedural and substantive limbs of Article 3 ECHR on the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

The complaint concerned the acts of violence and abuses suffered by the applicant (then aged 62) at the Diaz-Pertini school during a police raid occurred at the end of the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001.

The judges of the Chamber (Section IV) unanimously held that there have been:

- violation of the Article 3 ECHR (substantive limb) on account that the Court found that the ill-treatment sustained by the applicant when the police stormed the Diaz-Pertini school amounted to “torture”;

-violation of the Article 3 ECHR (procedural limb) on account that the Italian criminal legislation had proved both inadequate as regards the need to punish acts of torture and devoid of the necessary deterrent effect to prevent other similar violations of Article 3 in the future.

After emphasizing the structural nature of the problem, the Court indicated that remedial measures to be taken might include the duty to introduce a properly adapted legal framework, including, in particular, effective criminal-law provisions. In addition, the applicant was granted 45 000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damages.

The judgment, which is not final, may be referred to the Grand Chamber at the request of any party within a period of three months from the date of its issuance.

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