On June 2, Italian activist Cesare Battisti began a new hunger strike in protest against the terrible prison conditions and isolation in Calabria prison, southern Italy.
According to a letter written by the activist, he denounces that the DAP (Department of Penitentiary Administration) is “dealing with a case in which punishment has no rehabilitative nature but exclusively a punitive nature according to the Constitution.
The activist’s strike is not only a hunger strike, but also a medical one. Sentenced to life imprisonment in isolation – when the maximum allowed, according to the law, is six months – Battisti suffers from liver disease and respiratory insufficiency.
During this period of 27 months in prison, Battisti spent the last 8 months without access to both sunbathing and proper medical care. He has also had arbitrary retention of literary texts and his questions have always been systematically ignored.
In his most recent letter, Battisti again questions his isolation and recalls his record: “I have spent 40 years in exile as a regular taxpayer, fully integrated into civil society at the cost of incessant professional activity, of peaceful involvement in cultural and charitable initiatives, in all the places where I was accepted as a refuge.”
During his previous hunger strike, we echoed the demand, which gained momentum with international repercussions, for the Italian activist to have “the same prison treatment as any other prisoner”, and that the classification in the regime of High Security 2 – for terrorists – , be reviewed since the risk conditions that would justify it no longer exist.
The prison in Rossano, in Calabria, is a high security prison for prisoners convicted for terrorism.
CSP-Conlutas stands for Cesare Battisti’s demands and his freedom. Even though in prison, we stand for his transfer to a detention house whose location facilitates relations with family members and external bodies as foreseen by the legal system where he will have the conditions to work aiming at his self-maintenance, reintegration and future freedom, that corresponds to healthy physical and mental conditions.
The penal rigidity imposed on Cesare Battisti, condemned for facts and events that happened more than 40 years ago and in a certain historical, political and social context very different from today, cannot be justified, except by hatred and revenge, so that even today he is still considered dangerous, classified under high surveillance and treated as a terrorist.
Action in support
The CSP-Conlutas and affiliated organisations signed the motion “Solidarity with hunger striker Cesare Battisti” – download the PDF HERE. We call for a solidarity action to be held next Monday (14), at the Italian consulate in São Paulo, on Avenida Paulista, at 11am.