The aim of this mobilisation is to give continuity and support to the collective and individual struggles carried out by many prisoners against the systematic abuse inflicted by DAP [Director of Prison Administration], prison governors and guards behind the walls. And in particular against isolation and punitive transfers, which combined together aim to hamper all kinds of communication and relations both inside and with the outside. Far too often these conditions actually translate into pretexts for beatings and ‘suicides’.
However, our presence also outside this prison comes once again from the will to reiterate that all forms of isolation and differentiation, such as articles 41bis and 14bis, which were intended to be emergency and therefore temporary measures, have actually become ‘normal’ in order to ‘sedate’ those who don’t adapt to the rules imposed by prison; a statement which should be read with all the discretions that DAP has the faculty to exercise.
Exception becoming normal, emergency becoming everyday life are the rules that govern this society and therefore prison, in all its declinations, starting from 41bis as the tip of the iceberg of the prison system which has a domino effect over all the other prison regimes and/or circuits.
Moreover the decision to go outside the prison of Carinola is motivated by Maurizio Alfieri’s transfer from Poggioreale, a transfer obviously dictated by the will to hamper the commitment in building solidarity and struggle against isolation and torture.
An exemplary case of a situation that concerns thousands of prisoners who pay the defence of their own and others’ dignity with isolation and block of their mail, along with systematic punitive transfers hundreds of kilometres away from their place of origin.
Since 2013 Maurizio has been moved from one prison to another and put under the 14bis regime (punitive isolation) following his reports of beatings carried out by guards against several prisoners and for having taken part in protests and struggles inside jails. His trajectory has been a long one: from Tolmezzo to Spoleto, from Milano-Opera to Napoli-Poggioreale and finally, in December 2017, Carinola. And each transfer has the aim to shut him up in silence, hampering the communication and solidarity that overcome any wall.
In spite of the fact that Carinola has not been a maximum security jail since 2013, but a prison of medium security and attenuated custody, the comrade is being substantially subjected to the same control and restrictions (not least censorship of mail, for example) applied in Poggioreale, a prison infamous for bare cells and constant abuse and beatings. Here follow some passages from one of Maurizio’s letters, which explains better than a thousand words how this prison hasn’t lost its initial vocation and the reason for his transfer to Carinola.
‘I’m all right too because I always exercise, but I feel nervous after 20 months in isolation from 16th October and I’ve been here for only 5 months…
Here they beat prisoners up, they did so to Pasquale, Vincenzo, Emilio, Carmine and many others. Also in the units they want and demand that prisoners stand to attention at headcount time. The guards boast that Poggioreale comes second after them for beatings.
They come over in antiriot gear to beat [prisoners] up, with helmets, truncheons and shields (the squad).
Tell the comrades to shout to all the prisoners through the megaphone so that they rebel, not submit to the screws’ abuse… it’s important that they say this with the megaphone and also tell them they want to keep me confined because they know I rebel against abuse…
On 27th April I went to the Tribunal of Surveillance because the Magistrate of Surveillance accepted my claim against the rejection of transfer by DAP and told me that it was my right to be transferred to be near my close ones. He set a hearing for 4th June…
Today, 17.05.18, they let me know that I can go to the gym twice a week, obviously alone, and since 1st January I’ve been alone in the exercise yard and without sociality’.
On Saturday 23rd June we’ll be outside the prison of Carinola against isolation, censorship and punitive transfers, and to support and give strength to the many Maurizios who are being held in the Italian jails.
June 2018, ‘Pagine contro la tortura’ [Pages against torture] Campaign
Translated by act for freedom now!