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RMS's Bio | The GNU Project
On the morning of July 22 a friend and myself were going to the local shop to purchase tobacco. On route we passed a Carabiniere station. We were screamed at aggressively by Carabiniere and out of the corner of my eye I saw one lash out at my friend, who thankfully managed to escape. I offered no form of resistance, as the CCTV camera monitoring Carabiniere entrance will prove. A search was made of my person and a Swiss Army camping knife found. I was handcuffed, placed in a car and driven into the complex. About ten or fifteen minutes after arriving at the station the beatings began. While in their custody I was repeatedly punched and kicked, hit with a stick, had coins thrown at me, and also the very frightening experience of my arresting Carabiniere attempting to stab me in the arm. This maltreatment continued for about two hours as I went through the process of fingerprinting, photographing and general identification. I was placed in some form of holding cell, for what seems like maybe eight hours but I can't be definite.
During this time I heard many instances of beatings. When the authorities came to remove prisoners to Pavia I again received a beating. The most painful incident occurred on arriving at Pavia when I was kidney punched - leaving me unable to walk in an upright position for a couple of days.
On the night of July 22 I, with other anti-G8 protestors, was brought to Pavia. I faced two and a half days in complete isolation. On my third day I had the pleasure of human company in the form of QuackySam. Sam thankful was released the following day. It would be August second before I would again share a cell with anybody, and again only for one night. By the fifth day in Pavia our numbers were down to five - myself, Achim, Michael, Hanny and Peter. Hanny and Peter shared a cell whilst the rest of us had to largely abide our own company. On the fifth day I at last was allowed into the exercise yard for an hour and a half walk. By the sixth or seventh day we at last had free association, the five remaining anti-G8 protestors, during exercise.
To the best of my knowledge no staff members of Pavia engaged in beating any anti-G8 protestors. However unquestionably the staff proved to be less helpful in informing us of our rights, as they should have been. Around July 30 Achim Nathrath and I came to the conclusion that a concerted effort was in place, from quarters unknown, to keep us as uninformed as possible about outside events or even about our own judicial processes. Eoin Duggan, a representative of the Irish Embassy in Rome, had told me over the phone, on August first, he had been urging people to write me at Pavia. By August sixth the grand total of my post was three cards, one support letter and another letter from the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas. The amount of post received in no reflects the amount of post send from Dublin.
Apparently the prison authorities had complained to the Irish Embassy over the volume of faxes sent to me -- apparently the volume was clogging up the system. Again I had only received five faxes throughout my entire detention. Another contentious issue was the lack of details offered about the Matricola. In this office details pertaining to your case are stored and open access, is in theory, available to all prisoners. An inmate on August fourth informed me of this Office not any official. I requested to go and was duly rewarded with three faxes - my first to be collected. Contacting the outside world proved incredibly difficult. We only found out, about eight days into our detention, we could actually send letters. Faxes we were told could be send to Ireland and Germany, but again obstructions were placed in our way and I do not think and of us managed to fax home. I was restricted to one phone call per week, but was in a far more fortunate position then my German friends who did notmake one phone call throughout their entire detention at Pavia. The Magistrate informed me I could ring Dublin but when I requested this I was told I needed written authorisation from the Magistrate.
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