Italy upholds prison terms for police over 2001 G8 abuse

A protester throws a stone at police in Genoa in 2001
Image caption The Genoa G8 summit was marred by widespread violence

Italy's Supreme Court has upheld jail terms for seven policemen and doctors for brutality against protesters at the G8 summit in 2001 in Genoa.

The sentences, ranging from one to four years, relate to the abuse of more than 250 people detained by police at the nearby Bolzaneto barracks.

The arrests followed clashes between anti-globalisation protesters and police at the summit.

But all of those held at Bolzaneto were later proved to be innocent.

They were released without charge.

In a separate incident during the summit, 23-year-old protester Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by a policeman.

'Spat at and insulted'

Friday's ruling concerns a police raid at a school were protesters were sleeping and the subsequent detention of many of them at the Bolzaneto barracks.

The court confirmed the sentences handed to the policemen and prison doctors in 2010.

Many of those detained said they were physically humiliated and threatened with rape.

One of them told the BBC that he and dozens others were detained by police: "All of us were handcuffed, and made to stare at the walls. They (police) would pass and slap us in the neck, spit at us, insult us, threaten us.

"When you asked to go to the toilet, they would take you but - once there - kick you, push you to the ground.

"I was convinced they were going to kill us."

He added that a girl sitting next to him "had vomit all over her, and her face had been transformed by fear".

The police brutality at the Genoa summit generated headlines around the world, and several trials have been held since.

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