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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017

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Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2017 offers an up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at the international level on the subject of fundamental rights. The 2017 Yearbook surveys the most significant activities of national and local Italian actors at domestic and international level, including civil society organisations and universities. It also dedicates space to recommendations made by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of international and national case-law that casts light on Italy's position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.

"Italy and Human Rights in 2016: the "Long March" towards Establishing Independent National Human Rights Institutions and the Ambiguous Addition of the Crime of Torture to the Italian Criminal Code" is the title of the 2017 Yearbook introduction.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2017 represents an updated orientation tool with regards the main initiatives to be undertaken on the legislative, infrastructural and policy-making fronts in order to strengthen the Italian system for promoting and protecting human rights.

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Italy in the Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights

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I. Torture, Right to Liberty, Right to Life

On 23 February 2016, in the case of Nasr and Ghali v. Italy, No. 44883/09, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously found that articles 3 (prohibition of torture), 5 (right to liberty and security), 8 (right to respect of private and family life) and 13 ECHR (right to effective remedy) read in conjunction with articles 3, 5 and 8 ECHR, had been violated in regard to the complainant Osama Mustafa Nasr (better known as Abu Omar). The same findings, with the exception of those concerning article 5 ECHR, were also established for Nabila Ghali, the wife of the complainant.

The case concerned the “extraordinary rendition”, carried out by CIA agents in collaboration with Italian agents (five military secret services agents and one carabiniere – militarised police), of the Egyptian imam Abu Omar (who had been granted political asylum in Italy). The applicant was abducted from Milan, transferred to Egypt and detained there in secret and tortured for several months on the grounds of his alleged involvement with terrorist groups. The criminal proceedings brought in Italy established the responsibility of the American agents (for whom, with the exception of one case, extradition was not sought or the clemency of the President of the Republic intervened) and of the carabiniere. The criminal convictions regarding the four Italian secret services agents (one agent having passed away in the meantime) were annulled for reasons pertaining to state secrecy.

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