This Europe: Mafiosi spread news of jail protest over law that stops them talking
Thursday 11 July 2002
In jails across Italy, more than 300 Mafia bosses are rattling their cell bars and refusing to eat in a protest against conditions.
The hunger strike and rattling cacophony follows a letter in which mafiosi objected to parliament's Anti-Mafia Commission, which wants to extend a law that clamps down on communication between jailed mobsters and their organisations.
Under a law known as "41 bis", inmates in high-security jails are allowed one family visit a month, one phone call of up to 10 minutes a month, and are forbidden contact with fellow convicts from their organisation. They can have up to two hours outdoor exercise a day.
Introduced a decade ago as a temporary measure after two magistrates were murdered, the law is intended to stop mobsters or terrorists controlling or influencing their groups from behind bars. The law is renewed annually but the government proposes extending it to the end of its term in 2006. Many are pushing for it to be made a permanent law.
The Justice Minister, Roberto Castelli, is being firm. "The government is going ahead ... We maintain that 41 bis is a very effective measure against organised crime, and also against terrorism," he said.
But the protest itself seems to prove the law's ineffectiveness. After it began in Marina Picena in central Italy – whose inmates include Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the reputed "boss of bosses" – it spread rapidly across the country, in spite of inmates supposedly having no way to contact one another. Mobsters of different ranks in eight jails have now joined in.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...