World Report 2011

Racist and xenophobic violence and hostile political discourse remained a pressing problem. In January, 11 African seasonal migrant workers were seriously injured in drive-by shootings and mob attacks over a three day period in Rosarno, Calabria. At least 10 other migrants, 10 law enforcement officers, and 14 local residents required medical treatment. Over 1,000 migrants left the town following the violence, most of them evacuated by law enforcement personnel. Numerous countries expressed concern about racism and xenophobia in Italy during its Universal Periodic Review at February's UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Roma and Sinti continued to suffer high levels of discrimination, poverty, and deplorable living conditions in both authorized and unauthorized camps. Eastern European Roma, primarily from Romania and living in informal settlements, faced forced evictions and financial inducements to return to their countries of origin. In October the Council of Europe European Committee of Social Rights published conclusions from June condemning Italy for discrimination against Roma in housing and access to justice, economic, and social assistance.

Italy continued to deport terrorism suspects to Tunisia, including Mohamed Mannai in May, despite the risk of ill-treatment, persistent interventions from the ECtHR, and condemnation by the Council of Europe. A June resolution from its Committee of Ministers reiterated Italy's obligation to comply with European Court decisions.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture said in an April report that Italy violated the prohibition on refoulement when it intercepted boat migrants attempting to reach Italy and returned them to Libya without screening for people needing international protection. Two Italian officials faced prosecution in a Sicily court for their role in the return of 75 people to Libya on an Italian Financial Police boat in August 2009.

Italy failed to offer asylum to approximately a dozen Eritreans it had pushed back to Libya in 2009, where alongside hundreds of other Eritreans they suffered ill-treatment, abusive detention, and threat of deportation to Eritrea.

In May a Genova appeals court convicted 25 out of 29 police officers for violence against demonstrators at the 2001 G8 summit, overturning acquittals by a lower court. The Interior Ministry said it would not suspend the officers. Appeals against the May decision are pending at this writing.

Associated documents