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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Italy

Strasbourg, 31.05.2012 – A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a periodic visit to Italy from 13 to 25 May 2012.

During the visit, the delegation reviewed the measures taken by the Italian authorities in response to recommendations made by the Committee after previous visits. Particular attention was paid to the treatment and fundamental safeguards applied to persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies and the conditions under which foreign nationals are held in an identification and expulsion centre. The delegation also examined in detail various issues related to prisons, including prison health care and the situation of prisoners who are subject to a maximum security regime (so-called “41-bis regime”). In addition, it also carried out visits to a judicial psychiatric hospital (OPG) and a civil psychiatric department of a general hospital where patients may be subjected to “involuntary medical treatment” (TSO). For the first time in Italy, the delegation visited a residential institution (therapeutic community centre) where forensic patients are held on an involuntary basis.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Paola SEVERINO DI BENEDETTO, Minister of Justice, Renato BALDUZZI, Minister of Health, Saverio RUPERTO, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of the Interior, and Massimo RUSSO, Counselor of Health of the Region of Sicily. It also held meetings with senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, the Interior and Health, as well as with representatives of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza. Further, it met representatives of non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Italian authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

    -     Jean Pierre RESTELLINI (Swiss), Acting 2nd Vice-President of the CPT (Head of delegation)
    -     Régis BERGONZI (Monegasque)
    -     Alfred KOCOBASHI (Albanian)
    -     Anna LAMPEROVA (Slovak)      
    -     Vincent THEIS (Luxemburger).

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER, Head of Division, Thobias BERGMANN and Christian LODA of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by two experts: Christian-Nils ROBERT Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and Catherine PAULET, psychiatrist, Head of the Regional Medico-Psychological Service at Baumettes Prison in Marseille (France).

The delegation visited the following places:

 Law enforcement establishments

Florence State Police Headquarters (Questura)
Messina State Police Headquarters (Questura)
Milan State Police Headquarters (Questura)

Palermo State Police Headquarters (Questura)
Rome State Police Headquarters (Questura)

Messina Gazzi Carabinieri Station (via Trento)
Milan Ponte di Magenta Carabinieri Station (via Vincenzo Monti)

Milan Municipal Police Headquarters (Ufficio Centrale Arresti e Fermi, via Custodi)
Messina Municipal Police Station - Caserma "Orazio di Maio" (via E. Fermi)

Detention centres for foreigners

Bologna Identification and Expulsion Centre (Centro di Identificazione ed Espulsione, via Mattei)




Bari Prison
Florence-Sollicciano Prison
Milan-San Vittore Prison (remand prisoners and Centre for Neuropsychiatric Observation - CONP)
Palermo-Ucciardone Prison (health-care services and situation of remand prisoners)
Terni Prison (Unit for « 41-bis » prisoners)

Vicenza Prison

In addition, the delegation went to Messina Prison, in order to interview newly-arrived remand prisoners. It also paid a brief visit to Palermo-Pagliarelli Prison, in order to collect information on admission procedures.


Psychiatric establishments


Barcellona Judicial Psychiatric Hospital (OPG – Casa di Cura e Custodia)

Psychiatric Service for Diagnosis and Care (SPDC) at the Milazzo General Hospital

Naso Therapeutic Community Centre (Comunitá Terapeutica Assistita - CTA).

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