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Voices are rising in Italy to defend Battisti, at worst in a jihadist prison


On the twentieth day of his hunger strike, Cesare Battisti lost ten kilos. A very weakened man therefore went on Wednesday, June 23, at 11 a.m., supported by a guard, in the visiting room for his weekly hour of conversation on WhatsApp. He had an appointment with his eldest daughter, Valentine, who recently explained to “l’Obs” how much seclusion and loneliness have become for his father, who has been circling for months in his head and a few small square meters, a appalling torment to the point that death seems more enviable to him.

Valentine Battisti: “Are we going to let my father die in prison?” “

Imprisoned since the end of his run in January 2019 under an “AS2″ regime reserved for terrorists, the former PAC (Proletarians armed for communism, an Italian extreme left group active from 1976 to 1979), has continued to ” await the lifting of this statute with fierce conditions of imprisonment. He would like to leave Rossano, a fortress for jihadist prisoners planted in a remote corner of Calabria, where he was taken in September, and serve his sentence in a “normal” prison.

With the possibility of his death, the silence surrounding his detention cracks, and even observers with little suspicion of affinities with the character are embarrassed. Mattia Feltri, director of “Huffpost Italia”, columnist for “la Stampa”, asked the awkward questions on June 18 in a striking post titled Poachers ” :

“Cesare Battisti, the prey next to which the then ministers, Alfonso Bonafede and Matteo Salvini, took a souvenir photo, like poachers putting their boots on a skinned lion, has been on hunger strike for eleven days and has made up his mind to continue until death (…) It’s been two years, according to his lawyer, that he should go to the ordinary diet, but nobody cares. For two years, against all law and all logic, the Italian state seems seized not by an emergency of justice but an urgency of revenge. Nothing justifies the regime of high surveillance for a near septuagenarian sentenced to life imprisonment for homicides committed more than forty years ago. But invoke the right to justice and dignity for a man hated by all seems a little too ambitious. “

And the editorialist to agree with the intellectuals of France who have long opposed extraditions to Italy:

” The Constitution guarantees rights for all but Italy prefers to guarantee them to those who are sympathetic to us, and applies the Constitution to the head of the client. I remember all the words of indignation (…) at the appeals of French intellectuals, this left known as “caviar” which energetically opposed extradition, and still today opposes that of others. ex-terrorists because she considers that our justice is not up to the rule of law. There we were, we were outraged, but they were right. “

The next day, Michele Serra, influential pen of “La Repubblica”, Italy’s second-largest daily (center-left), approved ” word for word “ what he read in “la Stampa”:

“The ‘ceremony’ of handing over Battisti to ministers Salvini and Bonafede is one of the most unpleasant, and the most ridiculous, pages of the yellow-green government (alliance of the 5 Star Movement and the League. Editor’s note), therefore doubly populist. repressive squared. We wonder, after the change of tenant at the Chigi Palace (seat of the presidency of the Council, Editor’s note) was hailed as the revenge of the Enlightenment on the darkness, if anyone will want to take note of the fact that an almost seventy-year-old, murderer at twenty, is not a public danger, nor a political trophy to be exhibited at the end of a pike. “

Since then, Rai 3, this little Italian cousin of France Culture, has launched the debate in “Tutta la città ne parla” (The whole city speaks about it), a very popular morning program. Among the guests, Roberto Della Rocca, president of the Italian Association of Victims of Terrorism, recalled that the prisoner was sentenced and “ his convictions confirmed by six jurisdictions ”. He laughed “Those who claimed that Battisti had nothing to do with the four homicides. But he was very clear:

“For our association, it was never a question of applying the law, not revenge. “



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