‘I confirm what I said, but I want a competent doctor after what happened to me. It’s true, as I went out of the cell I pushed the prison guard that was on the landing. Then, when I went down to reception I pushed the other guard who was waiting for me and was part of the escort. I declare however that I was assaulted immediately after that by more than ten guards with slaps and punches; they threw me to the ground and I was punched, hit and kicked in the head, back, abdomen, left and right leg and left hand. And when I got up I was hit until they handcuffed me.
While I was being beaten up I was insulted and heavily threatened. “Considering what emerges from the court papers, and especially after examining medical reports WHICH DID NOT STATE WHAT THE PRISONER DECLARED, taking the seriousness of the facts into consideration, the commission is applying a sanction of 15 days’ exclusion from social activities”.
This is what I declared to the disciplinary committee, which was held on Friday 9th November following the events that occurred in prison before the trial of 8/11.
But it would be right to talk about what happened in the last month and a half. On the morning of 2nd October I leave the prison of Teramo for the prison of Lecce, where I arrive at around 4pm; after the time spent in bureaucratic procedures, I manage to take a quick shower and it’s already time for lock up. The following day, as I’m waiting to go to court I ask to go to the exercise yard but their answer is no because ‘here you are in solitary confinement’. The reason will be explained by itself two hours later. After a short while, I go to court and on my way back they don’t allow me to go up to the unit to take my things because this has already been done by the guards; I remain in the registration office and have to prepare my bags for the flight if I want to go on trial in Florence. This way, when the comrades are there in the afternoon for a gathering outside the prison of Lecce, I will already be flying to Genoa.
Reluctantly I have to leave quite a few things behind, such as pans-pots-books-CDs-pamphlets because I can’t take more than two bags, so I prefer to take clothes-bed sheets-blankets-documents and some books (plus coffee machine and stove, very important in detention):)
So at 1pm on 3rd October I move from Lecce to Brindisi, where I take two planes (Brindisi-Rome and Rome-Genoa), and then from Genoa to La Spezia in an armoured van. At 9pm I arrive at La Spezia and go to bed with my clothes on, I don’t even take my clothes inside and decide to take everything the next day because I’m too tired.
4th October, 8am: search in the cell; among other things in the 2nd I found a homemade blade under the mattress in Lecce, which I made disappear and luckily so, given that the following day it was the guards who packed my bags… coincidences? Anyway, prevention is better than cure.
On 6th October they take me to the unit and put me in a cell with a boy, with whom it soon seemed I could have problems, but as it was we didn’t give the guards any satisfaction and adapted to the prison needs.
On the 9th I go to court, and here are the first falling outs and exchange of insults with the escort as they behave a bit like idiots and get rough while driving. I let it pass. From the 10th or 11th, I can’t remember the exact day, problems over going to the exercise yard: the guards have to alert the first floor before letting me pass because the governor and commandant, on advice by ‘orders from above’, have imposed a prohibition of meeting between me and another comrade imprisoned in La Spezia.
I can almost not bear the situation any longer, but the straw that broke the camel’s back comes on the 18th: I go to court again, and besides having to endure 300 kilometres between going and coming back handcuffed, the escort start ‘imitating’ the characters of Fast & Furious. As soon as we get to La Spezia, on the way back from court, they start turning on sirens, speeding at traffic lights, pulling on hand brakes, and threatening drivers to clear out of the way thus risking accidents, tyre screeching … and they drive at 80 per hour in a subway and on landing, for that was a flight, I bang my head, my glasses fall off and I slam the handcuffs into my ribs very hard, I’m still in pain.
I go to the unit very angry, the following day I have a medical examination but of course they don’t find anything, they say I have to talk with the governor and commander, and they should speed up the papers for the request for transfer (officially started on the 23rd); they know very well that if I have to leave from La Spezia for the next hearing I won’t give them an easy life, but they give no importance to my words.
On 26th October I get a paper from the DAP [Director of Prison Administration], notified on the 30th, where in practice they refuse me the transfer: obviously this is a pre-arranged response, they didn’t even read my claim, given that a rejection made in such short a time is a record! Tense situation, exchange of insults with the guards, and even if I know that maybe it won’t get anywhere, I declare incompatibility with the prison police body of La Spezia.
I wanted to start a hunger strike already on 31/10 but wait for Monday 5th November, as it doesn’t count much at weekends, I ask to talk with the governor, they say she will call me in the morning. In the morning, nothing, so I refuse to go back to the cell from 12pm to 1pm and then I go to the exercise yard, and there I also stop and refuse to go back inside. Half an hour later (about 2:30pm) the governor and the commander summon me, I let them know about all the problems of going to court with the La Spezia escort, about the incompatibility with the guards, the fact I’m 500 kilometres far from my family and 150 kilometres from the court, and they know very well that if I don’t leave on the 8th something will happen. They say they receive and obey orders from the DAP, and that I should take full responsibility for what I do; I answer that I’ll certainly take all responsibility, but it would be sufficient that they come on me one at a time and not 10 against 1.
Well: on 8/11 what I wrote at the beginning takes place; after they handcuff me and continue to mistreat me, they call a doctor and ask him if I’m fit to go to court, and he also, frightened only at looking at the situation, sees lumps and bruises (but he won’t write it down) and asks me “You want to go?” I say yes, especially as I had prepared a declaration to read in court, which I’d changed at that point, and add that they beat me up in prison before the trial; a rather bland declaration, where I wanted to stress the reason why I was asking for a transfer.
In court, the judge doesn’t allow me to read my declaration as he states that the place is not suitable, but I manage to let the others in court know that the screws beat me up and that I’ve been on hunger strike for 4 days. So they take me out of the court and a zealous screw, which continues to hit me, handcuffs me so tightly that my wrists go purple and I almost faint. They take me to the basement, and after a while they bring me up again, even if only we 3 defendants are left, besides lawyers, judges, cops, and I tell the other 2 that I’d like to stay to show my lawyer the signs [of the beatings] on my body and delay my return to La Spezia as long as possible, as I foresee another beating on the way back. I also try to have the obvious signs [of the beatings] included as evidence but there’s nothing about them. The two following days I try to have that piece of evidence again but “I can’t write about things that cannot be seen”. As the visit ends they put me back in cell1on the ground floor, the one I had slept in the first night here in Spezia. Strict regime, my things had already been prepared and put in the cell by guards. At least the following day they allow me to take the rest of my things and give me a disciplinary report with 15 days’ confinement.
This is what led me to push the guards and my experience in La Spezia: nothing out of the ordinary, guards who provoke you in a know-it-all way and then smash you with beatings while you are on the floor with kicks and punches to your head and back, a governor who covers the beatings thanks to doctors’ complicity (out of 4 visits to 3 different doctors, maybe one of them wrote down about the aching parts of my body the second time he saw me), and guards who threaten to report you for insult, a judge who doesn’t let you read a declaration relating to this and has you taken out of court.
Everything is normal. It’s for this reason that I can’t find myself in the normality of society, which justifies authority, abuse, harassment, and which covers them. It’s for this reason that I’ll continue the hunger strike as long as I can, and I’ll continue to demand a transfer to another prison; and if De Andrè says you can’t breathe the same air as that of a screw in the exercise yard [this is a reference to a famous song], I really will always want to avoid sharing it with the guards who beat me up here, with blind and complicit doctors, with a commander who justifies her men by saying I made it all up and with a governor who hides the rot under a carpet of falsity.
ALWAYS WITH MY HEAD HELD HIGH, PASKA
Hunger strike: initial weight 5/11: 108.4 kg; weight on11/11: 101.8
Note: written on11/11 and sent at least twice; rewritten on 30/12.
Translated by act for freedom now!