Italy: imprisoned anarchist transferred to hospital

The Italian anarchist Alfredo Cospito is serving a 20-year prison term for a foiled bomb attack on a police school and a gun attack on a company manager. Since May 2022 he has been held in solitary confinement under Article 41bis of the Italian Criminal Code, which many legal experts argue should be abolished because the conditions are tantamount to torture. After more than three months on a hunger strike, Cospito has now been transferred to the hospital section of Milan jail.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Stalling tactics

The transfer is good news but it is not a breakthrough, La Repubblica criticises:

“It maintains the stalemate and averts the possibility of a tragic outcome for a while, but it falls short of what is needed. This is a stalling tactic by the government, waiting for someone - namely the Supreme Court - to come and pull the chestnuts out of the fire when the hearing on the re-evaluation of Cospito's 41bis prison regime [named after an article of the Italian criminal code] takes place in early March. It is a non-decision, while outside on the streets the violence of the anarchist insurrectionists is increasing.”

Avvenire (IT) /

Inmates have a right to health

Two fundamental questions are at issue here, Avvenire comments:

“The proportionality of the coercive measures in view of the facts of the case or the sentence, and the right to health, which the Constitution grants to everyone. It makes no difference that the deterioration of the prisoner's health was brought about voluntarily, in Cospito's case by a hunger strike. ... Otherwise those who attempt suicide or put their own lives in danger would also have to be denied treatment. So yesterday's decision by the prison administration to transfer the militant anarchist to the Opera prison in Milan is to be welcomed with relief.”