Italy. Since today, 8.9.2020, Cesare Battisti is on hunger strike, among other things to protest against the continuing isolation in prison. His lawyer has published the following statement, which we have translated.
Originally published by Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ (Art of War). Translated by Enough 14.
The gagging measures conscientiously implemented by the authorities of the Oristano prison, thus following the orders of the department of the responsible penal administration, provocatively contradict all my attempts to restore the “legality” and the recognition of the rights of prisoners provided for by law, which I am still stubbornly denied. Written and verbal requests and letters addressed to this directorate, to the prison judge, to the public have not changed this. When it comes to Cesare Battisti, it is not surprising that certain laws have been suspended: This has been made clear to me by various authorities who continue to tighten these thumbscrews.
The struggle to be treated the same as any other prisoner is a constant, exhausting struggle that involves the most mundane actions of my daily life: Yard walks, forced and unjustified isolation; inadequate medical care; arbitrary withholding of literary texts; systematically ignored application forms; various items of daily use and various work tools which, although provided for in the prison regulations, are withheld from me like many other things.
Having exhausted all other means to assert my rights, I feel compelled to resort to the means of a total hunger strike and refusal of my medical treatment (I suffer from chronic hepatitis B and pulmonary insufficiency) in order to obtain a decision on my transfer to a penal institution, which would facilitate my relations with my family and with the external agencies provided for by the regulations, as well as the contacts with regard to future employment, which are necessary to provide me with the possibility of financing and reintegration. I also request a review of my classification under the high-security regime (AS2) reserved for “terrorists”, since the conditions of danger that would justify this are not present.
Cesare Battisti belonged to the Italian group “Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC)” in the 1970s, he was caught by the cops but managed to escape from prison in 1981. He managed to go underground for decades, living for many years first in France and later in Latin America, until he had to flee to Bolivia in 2018 after the regime change in Brazil, where he was arrested by the local police in cooperation with an Italian dragnet commando and extradited to Italy in early 2019. Since his imprisonment in Italy, he has faced massive measures of isolation and harassment. We have also published an article by him in the current issue of Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ, “On the skin of Primo Levi“ (German).
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