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Switzerland demands answers about G8 police action

Italian police arrest two anti-globalistion protesters after a raid on a school where they were staying in Genoa Keystone

The Swiss Foreign Ministry has called on the Italian government to explain why nine Swiss were allegedly treated with excessive force by Italian police during the G8 summit in Genoa.

Officials told the Swiss Sunday newspaper, the “Sonntags Blick”, that the chargé d’affaires at the Swiss embassy in Rome intervened in the matter two weeks ago.

Muriel Berset Cohen, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said the Swiss diplomat had asked the Italian foreign minister for an explanation of what happened.

The foreign ministry contacted the nine Swiss while they were held in an Italian prison and obtained information about the circumstances surrounding their arrests and their treatment in jail. From this they wrote a report which was translated into Italian before being handed over to the Italian authorities.

All nine of the Swiss have since been released from jail and banned from setting foot in Italy for the next five years.

Excessive force

Berset Cohen added that the Swiss chargé d’affaires had also asked for those police officers accused of using excessive force to give their account of what happened.

Massimo Pastore, a lawyer for two of the protesters, said his clients intend to take legal action against the Italian authorities because of the police raid on the Armando Diaz school during the summit. During the raid more than 60 anti-globalisation protesters were injured.

The Swiss foreign ministry has vowed to support the protesters during the legal process.

For its part the Italian government has launched a full enquiry into why the July summit turned so violent and why one anti-globalisation protester was shot dead by the police.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR