A testimony on the beatings inflicted in the prison of Tolmezzo (Italy)

From informa-azione via actforfree:

We receive and transmit a letter sent to the Circolo Cabana in Rovereto by a prisoner held in the prison of Tolmezzo (Udine) where Massimo was locked up before being moved to the High Surveillance unit of the San Michele prison in Alessandria. This letter is a testimony on systematic beatings and punishment inflicted by the prison administration through its guards, and explains why Massimo was moved so quickly. …

Tolmezzo, 31/08/2012

Dearest comrades, I’m a prisoner (inside Tolmezzo prison). My name is Maurizio Altieri.

I’m writing from an isolation cell without wasting time. I had the pleasure to meet Massimo, who gave me your address.

I’m going to tell you shortly about my story since I entered this concentration camp.

I came here on June 4 from the prison of Padua, where I had denounced the abuse of the guards to Radio Carcere [Prison Radio] of Riccardo Arena, whom you know.

As soon as I arrived at this prison I had a quarrel with a senior guard, who was arrogant, bully and kept on threatening me. Regardless of the threats I asked him about my rights. As I was searched and refused to do press-ups, which are forbidden by the prison regulation, they made me go up to the infirmary without my clothes.

In the morning, in the infirmary, in the yard, other prisoners told me that here the guards beat prisoners up with no reasons. I didn’t take long to realize that everybody was terrorized and feared to be beaten.

So I started convincing some prisoners who had been beaten to write down reports in order not to leave these inhuman treatments unpunished.

After three days in the infirmary where I had gathered three detailed reports of beatings with truncheons, cold water buckets, naked without mattress or anything else, a search in my cell took place at 3pm. They were looking for the reports. They found them as I was writing to Riccardo Arena. I was taken to isolation. After 6 days I was summoned by the disciplinary board, which said they found two small pieces of sheet metal. I protested and asked about the three reports but I only received threats. So they gave me 15 days in isolation for two small pieces of sheet metal of which I didn’t know anything. I started gathering reports of beatings in the isolation unit.

I’m being subjected to all sorts of abuse: I was left without clothes or cigarettes. I denounced all this to the Prosecution of Udine, namely the violation of art. 27, etc. I’ve been in isolation since June 7. They don’t want me to go to the wing because they know that I’d gather reports against the prison Governor.

A demo outside the prison is needed to make what’s happening here known.

Massimo also told me what happened the other day to a boy, who had broken out some furniture in the cell in protest and was convinced to get out of the cell so that they would sort out his problems; on the contrary, after he went out, he was handcuffed behind his back and guards in antiriot gear started kicking him and beating him with truncheons.

We started shouting and insulting them but we didn’t know what had happened to the boy. The following day we learnt that he was in a ‘bare’ cell, naked and without a mattress.

In three months dozens episodes of beatings have taken place, we have no rights, dignity is trampled on here and we are treated worse than animals.

Only a demo would give all the prisoners the strength and courage to struggle, even with hunger strikes or any form of protest that interrupts the illegality reigning here with the complicity of the Prosecution of Udine.

I will always struggle against abuse and their threats won’t stop me. I wrote to the European Court for Human Rights, it’s almost three months I’ve been in isolation against my will, they always find excuses to report me so that they can justify three months of abuse.

They have just warned Massimo that he’s going to be transferred tomorrow…

We think the reason for the transfer is the fact that yesterday Massimo told the judge for preliminary investigations that a prisoner had been beaten with truncheons.

Obviously the judge talked with the Governor, who demanded Massimo to be immediately moved.

I’m really sorry for Massimo because we were organizing some initiatives to obtain improvements inside this hell.

Comrades, if it is possible for you to make public opinion aware about what is happening in this prison, all the prisoners of Tolmezzo and I will be forever grateful to you.

I have many other things to tell you, everything happening here is almost surreal.

I thank you on behalf of everyone for what you’ll do for us, let’s make sure that things don’t remain hidden between these four walls by the legislators.


Trustful, I greet you heartily along with Massimo, Valerio, Jlir, Redovane (all prisoners in isolation).

Yours sincerely, Maurizio.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 at 5:15 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.