Friday, August 28, 2009

European court raps Italy over G8 Genoa protests

It took the European Court of Human Rights 9 years to investigate into police brutality that took place during the G8 summit at Genoa in 2001. Again, senior officers got off. This only mean that police brutality will never ever be eradicated.


The European Court of Human Rights condemned Italy on Tuesday for failing to carry out a thorough investigation into the death of a protestor who was shot by police at a G8 summit in Genoa in 2001.

The court awarded 40,000 euros ($57,160) compensation to the protestor's family. But it decided unanimously that the police officer had not used disproportionate force when he fired during an attack by demonstrators on his vehicle.

The Genoa Group of Eight has gone down as one of the most violent summits of the club of rich nations, which frequently faces protests by anti-globalization groups.

As well as the death of the Italian, Carlo Giuliani, more than 231 protestors, many visiting from other countries, were injured and over 280 arrested. Many complained of police brutality.

In November 2008 an Italian court found 13 police officers guilty of beating protesters at the summit, but acquitted 16 others, including the most senior police officials.

The European Court, which looked into the incident at the request of Giuliani's family, found that the Italian official investigating his death had allowed his body to be cremated before a proper analysis and that the investigation was too narrow.

"Italy had therefore not complied with its procedural obligations in connection with the death," it said.

The European court also looked into whether planning for the meeting had minimized the risk of lethal force being used. "There were a number of shortcomings in the organization of the operation," the court said.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Singapore shoots down "rumor" of APEC attack plot

Singapore has downplayed media reports of a plot to attack an Asia-Pacific summit in the city-state in November, the Straits Times newspaper reported on Monday.

"The rumors are rumors. You check it, if it is unverifiable, you know you can't be chasing after every rumor,' Second Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam was quoted by the daily as saying during a mock terrorist attack exercise on Sunday.

The Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Home Affairs were not available for immediate comment.

An intelligence analyst from the Center for Intelligence and National Security in Indonesia told Reuters last week probes into last month's bombings in Jakarta had uncovered a plot to target the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders of the 21-member APEC group will attend the mid-November summit in Singapore, a regional financial center and shipping hub.

The investigation also revealed that terrorists planned to use snipers to attack Obama's convoy during a planned visit to Indonesia around the same time.

Shanmugam said Singaporean authorities took security "very seriously."

"Wherever the President of the United States, or various heads of states visit, you obviously take the appropriate security precautions," he said. "For a small country like us, this is not just an issue of preparing against terrorist attacks, it's creating a mindset and understanding within our population that (in) any kind of emergency, we are all able to respond," Shanmugam said.

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