Italy: RAI 3 programme lifts the veil on police beatings leading to deaths and their aftermath

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On 6 January, Rai 3 television channel broadcast the first episode of Presa Diretta, an information programme directed by Riccardo Iacona, for 2014. Its title was Morti di Stato (State Deaths) and it recounts a catalogue of cases (many of them well known) in which police officers attacked people with whom they came into contact, generally in the exercise in their duties, several of whom died as a result of these encounters and the beatings that followed. Statewatch has reported on several of these cases over the years (including Stefano Cucchi, Federico Aldrovandi and others). The programme is in Italian, lasts for two hours, and is visible on the RAI Replay service until Monday 12 January 2014.

It makes for some chilling viewing about issues including the experiences of the victims' relatives, the important role of women in campaigns to discover the truth about what happened to their children and partners, the cover-ups enacted by police officers and officials, the shelving of cases by prosecuting magistrates without due investigations being carried out or charges being brought, the role of women in campaigning for the truth, the intimidation of witnesses prior to trials, short sentences for convicted officers, the impossibility of identifying officers involved in public order duties in the context of football matches, and the return to duty of officers convicted of "manslaughter".

All in all, it is a testimony that "security" for citizens does not always go hand in hand with greater powers for the police.

RAI replay
Presa Diretta, Morti di Stato, 6.1.2014, Rai 3 

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