Italy: Moroccan thrown into river by carabinieri drowns

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On 24 May 2011, a 24-year-old Moroccan's body was found by a farmer near the river Frassine, eight days after he was arrested by carabinieri (four of whom are under investigation) for drunk and disorderly behaviour during a feast dedicated to ham in the town of Montagnana (Padua). The last time Abderrahman Sahli was seen, was when he was made to board a carabinieri car. Suspicion that he may have been made to jump in the river was strengthened when it emerged that this would not have been unusual. In fact, another Moroccan man claimed that he was thrown into the river four times by the carabinieri [police force with military status] in the past and reported the names of four officers including a junior official, who have been transferred while investigations are pending.

The question remains as to whether throwing drunk Moroccans into the river was a customary practice which has emerged as a result of Abderrahman Sahli's death, considering that Rahali El Hassane, a 46-year-old Moroccan with an Italian identity card, said that "They threw me off [the bridge] four times... I saved myself, and I also told the investigators". Another 45-year-old Moroccan, Abele Abdelilah, described what he claims happens once they are caught by the carabinieri while they are drunk: "What happened to Abderraham happened to me twice: the carabinieri find us drunk, they make us board the car while we are handcuffed and without stopping in the barracks they take us to that bridge, they curse us, they take our handcuffs off and kick us off it, we save ourselves because we manage to climb onto the river banks, it's not a bath [to sober them up]".


Il Corriere del Veneto, 3.6.11; Il manifesto, 12.6.11

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