july 2006


We must break the silent on the psychological torture and the annihilation of the prisoners.

How to break the wall of the counter-revolution against the mobilization on the prisoners' conditions, safeguarding and claiming their revolutionary identity and their total belonging to the entire revolutionary movement?
This question needs a response, especially after the application of the 41bis measure to the prisoners of the last Br-Pcc inquiries and after some news about the worsening of the health of one of these prisoners.
We always completely respected their approach and their point of view about detention, agreeing that the prison isn't the centre of our action; the "general plan" is the real field on which measure ourselves, but we can't think that the assumption of the clash and its consequences can prevent the fight against the confinement and the torture, against the annihilation and the scattering.
We always promoted this fight with the Basque, French, German and Turkish comrades, without any compromises or opportunisms. We done that because this fight is an element and a result of the clash in which we are involved, in spite of the complications and the contradictions of the present time in which the counter-revolution sharpen all its knives.
With this spirit we supported and participated to the "Un libro in pił di Castelli" campaign, promoted by the "Amici e familiari dei prigionieri politici" and we think that that approach, method and inside/outside interaction can represent a real starting point for the analysis about some tactical choices that can involve pieces of the class in the mobilization, in the growth of the consciousness and knowledge of the present level of the clash; the same method that we use on work, on the various territories, etc..
Whit this spirit we want support the fight against 41bis and its application, against the annihilation conditions of the Italian prisoners because this doesn't concern only the people actually jailed, but also all those who, by a bitter forecast, will face-up with this state of things. These conditions concern both the prisoners and their point of view and the comrades out of jail that are fighting against the annihilation and torture politics.
The following interview to one of the lawyers assisting the 41bis prisoners integrates this whole of matters.

Let's do a map about the number and the present condition of the 41bis prisoners and let's think back over the judicial and prison course that caused the application of this kind of measure to them.
We are now talking only about the political prisoners, because the prisoners for "organized crime" submitted to this oppressive and inhuman treatment are perhaps 600. The political prisoners submitted to 41bis, from 30th September 2005, are 5. The justifications of the various enforcement decrees are stereotyped and follow the same logic of enforcement of this measure that the minister are using with the mafia and camorra prisoners: the first supposition is the dangerousness of the single subject that, by the law, should be deduced by concrete and actual elements, but normally its statement bases only on the charging crimes.
We can read that these measures are based on "the inquiries and the opinions of the judicial authorities and investigative agencies", on the custody ordinances and on the indictment to trial requisitions of the Prosecutors, that are partisan deeds that in many cases are not arrived to the weighing up of the trial, as the Broccatelli case (acquitted of D'Antona death) showed.
Another supposition that cannot be disregarded is the verifiable evidence of the existence of the external organization. The 41bis measure was enforced to the political prisoners apart from the demonstration of the concrete and factual existence of the external BR-PCC organization. We can see a big State's contradiction both on the media and judicial levels: from one side, police, magistracy, representatives of the government, said that the organization and its activists were definitively defeated, from the other side, the Ministry of Justice, on request of the Ministry of the Interior, affirms that is necessary to apply 41bis measure to prevent the possible connection of the prisoners with external members of the organization.
To demonstrate that there are other free militants, on a formal level, they must show real elements like the some name, but they only reported generic elements on some militants, refugee in Paris or somewhere, declared them "persons that had a leading role into the combatant party", without other real elements to their roles at the present time.
These are feeble justifications about the real existence of the organization. And, the historic-politic experience of the new prisoners shows the non-existence of organized relations with the outside of the prisons. In the documents discovered during the searches, quoted in the 41bis provisions, there was written that the same militants "activated and built themselves in the open air", basing on the documentation that can get out of the prison and published on various magazines of the movement without any relations with the prisoners. The interceptions made in prison even demonstrated that the "old" prisoners asked who are the "new" members and this rules out direct contacts. Another confirmation is quoted in the provisions: "the historical appellation was accepted and supported in the declarations of the old members in some trials", but after the actions of the "new" militants. The provision affirms also that these relations are demonstrated in some documents that don't contain organizational peculiarities, but only a dated general analysis.
The definitive proof about the non-existence of real contacts in/out, is showed in the sentence of the I Corte d'Assise d'Appello di Roma that, about the 4 "old" prisoners, rejected their supposed "moral contribution" to the death of Massimo D'Antona and acquits them from the subversive association sentence of the first degree. So the non-existence of these organizational contacts was clearly showed, contacts that the 41bis measure now must "prevent".
I think that the justifications to the application of the 41bis measure on these prisoners don't' have any relations with the present regulations; the State, on some kind of crimes applies a logic that is beyond the its same principles as state subject to the rule of law, but it can't declare it clearly. The State can't do it because we are not in a time like the 70's or, thinking to the mafia associations, like the 90's. This is a new preventive logic near the one of the Western preventive war on the international area. This logic appears like a ghosts-hunt because to the end of this measure it shows its oppressive objective, the annihilation as only result. The Ministry get itself in a direct clash position having as its only objective the annihilation of these prisoners and not the fight to something existing out of the prison, 'cause it is not possible to demonstrate.
The measures applied to these prisoners in jail, constitute another confirmation of this logic. Most of the arrests happened in 2003 and the prisoners stayed for two years in various jails (one for a prison) until the application of the 41bis measure, with the prohibition to meet and often in a solitary confinement. For example, Paolo Broccatelli stayed in a illegitimate confinement condition from 2003 to 2005 and, for a paradox, his actual condition in 41bis are better than before, when he had the total prohibition to get the hour of air with other prisoners; under 41bis measure, the minimum standards of sociability are respected.
Before the application of 41bis a clear choice was made: the total isolation of the prisoners, divided in different prisons. All the prisoners made a time of isolation for 4-5 months and then they were moved in so-called common jail without contacts with other prisoners of the fights of the 70-80's.

Which conditions and which kind of repercussions a prisoner under 41bis measure suffers? Can you explain these questions without pietisms and making us understand that this kind of detention is a clear torture strategy?
I think that the main restriction is the limitation of the talks and the relations with the families. This measure only provides for an hour a month with the family and through a partition glass. The deprivation of any bodily contact is the worse thing for the prisoners. As a justification of this measure, the risk that the family get orders out of jail. This justification can be real for the mafia activity, but not for the political one. Political prisoners never use families to bring out something. Many acts prove that this kind of contacts there were only at the end of the 70's, when the families fight with the prisoners to improve the detention conditions.
This deprivation wears out the relations and makes suffer not only to the prisoners but also to the families that do not have to pay for the choices made from their beloveds. Another important aspect is that the 41bis sectors are managed by the GOM, special police groups in charge of the prisoners, to create an aseptic atmosphere, without any human relations. In 41bis sectors is also denied to exchange the food and this increases a de-solidarity process among prisoners. All the 41bis measures are factors of de-socialization for all the prisoners of these sectors. But the conditions of the 5 political prisoners are worst, because they don't have any exchange with someone else, also in their little granted spaces because of their particular kind of detention. Common prisoners have another mentality and ideology, like the cult of the money that makes them to make particular choices, so the relations and the exchanges between political and common mafia prisoners are based specially on formal courtesies.

In the last times there was much talking about the conditions of Nadia and Diana in the 41bis sector in the jail in L'Aquila; this question represents not only a particular condition, but also can make us understand better the European and Italian politics to annihilate the political revolutionary prisoners...
The 41bis sector, in the prison of L'Aquila, was open and reserved only for three women under 41bis, and this is a situation to the limit of the legality. There are formal impassable limits, like the number of members of the group that, for sociality reasons, can't be less than 3 persons. As a rule, there are sectors consisting of 20/30 persons where the sociality is made in turns and in groups of 5, ever less than 3. So, the sociality group of the 3 persons constitutes the generally rule, that doesn't prevent that they are always the same 3 persons. In this situation is possible to have discussions, exchanges of opinions about any questions with different persons; this is much important, humanly and psychologically.
In the case of these 3 prisoners, the reality was different because they are only 3, so that produced an implosive situation; Diana Blefari started to have health problems, to reject external relations and with the other prisoners. More, there was Laura Proietti that had few contacts with the other woman for politic reasons.
So, the formality was respected, but in fact these 3 prisoners, for reasons known by the Minister and the Direction of the prison, were living in total isolation.
This masked isolation goes from October 2005 to April 2006.

From April 2006, when Nadia Lioce was sentenced to life imprisonment, she was submitted to the diurnal isolation. What does it mean?
The rule of the diurnal isolation (that is an additional sentence) says that the prisoner must do it in the same sector of the jail where he lives everyday. In Nadia's situation this rule was respected but, the other two women were transferred, so she became total isolated. It is a special imprisonment; the prisoner is at the total mercy of his warders and this measure can be compared only with the detention in a military barrack.
In this country, there is a total prohibition to put for a long time a prisoner in a barrack, because in the 80's there were many cases of persons imprisoned for 15/20 that was tortured. This practice was made possible by the absence of time limits to the detention for investigative reasons. By the Code of the 1990, this is formally prohibited; the prisoners must stay soon in a prison. This important because the presence of other common or political prisoners represents a social warranty during the custody, so the will of brutal acts is limited.
So, it's not accident that many articles were written about this kind of isolation applied to Nadia on various newspapers, with the accusations of some representatives of Rifondazione (communist party). Her condition is like Ocalan or Guzman ones, because these are the only cases of detention out of the limits of the law.
Now the condition of Nadia is changed. The diurnal isolation is revoked and she stays in the reserved area with another common prisoner. So they live a condition of isolation that doesn't respect the minimum quote of 3 persons.
If we don't report these kind of condition, more spaces without any kind of control will be authorized where the prisoners can be isolated in "extra lege" areas. We must open a big struggle, remembering that the isolation is a torture condemned by all international conventions.

A call of some comrades of Rome, stresses the effects of the conditions of detention, in particular about Diana Blefari. The class solidarity is central in the relation with the political prisoners, but nothing can make us misunderstand that we must also protect the health conditions of the prisoners, especially if these depend by the effects of the detention, to defend and respect their identity.
I can't know the real state of health of Diana, but the alert on her conditions went also by the health centre of the prison that talked even about a danger of death. Her situation was produced by the detention and isolation that determined a stressed condition. From one year Diana rejects any contact with her family, comrades and lawyers. Anyone intervened for months, in spite of the evidence of her conditions and the various accusations of her family and lawyers. And, in spite of this situation, the Minister applied the 41bis measure to her. Diana withdrew into herself to hide her sickness; rejects also the relations with her comrades that said that was necessary to intervene because something was wrong. The Institution, because she always preserves her revolutionary identity, doesn't admit this situation of uneasiness and says that she simply carries out her "irreducible" behaviour. This is an illogical justification because she reject the contacts with the institution, but also with her comrades, family an lawyers because, on my personal opinion, she has an uneasiness that can become serious and irreparable.
There is the risk a medical diagnosis can hand Diana over to the penitentiary administration, with the possible transfer to an OPG (mental judicial hospital).
We must intervene in this situation, so Diana can return to her "normal" life. All the appeals for the revocation of the 41bis measure, the admission in a civil hospital or the house arrest were like a dead letter. Only lately, a response of the DAP (penitentiary administration department) says that the prisoner is dangerous, so she can't pass to an ordinary detention and that she is really well-groomed, while the medical direction of Rebibbia jail is alerting on the big difficulties of the prison to resolve her condition.
So the purpose of the 41bis application seems to be just the induction to the illness, and that is one more reason to fight against 41bis.
Probably, if Diana was in jail with other comrades the situation will be better; but the accusations to obtain a transfer to Latina or Rebibbia jails were all rejected.
All the offices insinuate that she is feigning illness; she's not a common prisoner that feigns to have a discount to the punishment, but a political prisoner that claims her responsibility and identity and is able to stay in jail a full life. For a political prisoner that changes opinions or choices, there are other historic well-known forms to adopt, but not the simulation of an illness. More, she is not showing her situation, but hiding her bad condition.
She can't rest anymore in jail; she needs suitable cares out of the prison, so we must fight a battle of human and health rights to obtain the application of the existing rules that provide for a suspension of the punishment for this kind of situation.
Her trial was suspended for these reasons and the penitentiary institution asked for the admission to OPG, but this will represent only a possible worsening of her condition, not a solution. So we must do something.

The development of the initiative on these questions is necessary and full of difficulties. The reformist components and the majority of the movement have done not so much against the deportation of supposed members of the anti-imperialistic resistance, the detention in European military bases and against the isolation. The war on terrorism captured many minds. More, the last leftist government gave stability to the 41bis measure and formally introduced the GOM.
It's clear that the 41bis, a rule that provides for the interruption of all the others penitentiary rules, was greatly required by the left and it isn't a reason of disagreements between the institutional forces. It's the only element of agreement and homogeneity on the war on "terrorism".
A message to launch is that a State shouldn't throw rage or revenge on its hostages. A democratic state should find other means to fight the crime and not to handle men and women as animals. At the contrary, the treatment for the prisoners is only the psychophysical destruction through the elimination of all social relations overall with the families.

During the history of the repression and the destruction of the revolutionary organizations were introduced specific forms of detention ("ad hoc"), like the article 90. But once, there was many fights and mobilizations against these provisions.

The article 90 was introduced in a different time of class fights and it represented a general attack of the middle-class. In Italy there were thousands of political prisoners in jail, and thousands of persons fighting out of jail. And in a context like this there was also the fight against the article 90. So, all that represented a constant communication between the revolutionary movement and the prisoners. Now the situation is totally changed. There isn't that kind of class movement and less political prisoners are in jail.

We talked about movements, the differences with the past. It seems that all that is developing now goes to the opposite objective, the de-solidarity to the revolutionary militants in jail. It seems to be like the war o terrorism is entering in the movements as an enemy like the state. This can be the reason of the few actions against the torture, 41bis, etc.
Today the level of counter-revolution is growing everywhere, and not only in jail trough the special treatment of the prisoners. The State in all Europe is equipping itself and uses the war on terrorism as a solution to the general crisis. A war that goes from the high levels of wars to permanent campaigns of de-dolidarization on everyone is rebelling to the present state of the things.
The fights are living now as social clashes in the democratic mediation for the preservation of the actual social order. When the fight become class fight, on a general level of clash with the state, the state fight become war on terrorism.
More we must consider that the state is able to make some class sectors to believe that the fights against the rules of the middle-class democracy is terrorism, and normal the repression.
This strategy curbs the initiatives against the penitentiary conditions that should involve also those who defends the democratic ideas and the respect of the human rights.
In this situation we see comrades submitted to a detention like the 41bis and none can rebel to that ethically or politically. The difference is just this. The actual situation in Italy is like the one the comrades are living in Spain, France or Germany from 20/30 years. So it's necessary to start a due consideration. Before in the different sectors there were 10, 15 or 20 prisoners with the chance to meet, talk, discuss. This chance there isn't anymore and it represents a big difference between the article 90 and the 41bis measure. The isolation as a torture is the actual situation of the prisoners. So, this new situation must be analyzed and denounced, because it is another big repressive step of the state.