Italian Embassy Protest Report
More than 40 people rallied outside the Italian Consulate in Wellington at lunchtime today in support of Wellington man Sam Buchanan, who is jailed in Genoa. Mr. Buchanan had been arrested along with 91 others during a violent police raid on a school building where people were sleeping, following protests against the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy.
Despite the fact that all charges against Mr. Buchanan have been dropped, he is still being held in prison awaiting deportation. Many of the others arrested in the same police raid are in the same situation.
Ross Gardiner, a friend of Mr. Buchanan, said "It's ridiculous that people should still be held in jail when there are no charges against them. It's a clear violation of human rights."
The lunchtime rally also called for the Italian Government to return documents and computer equipment seized during a raid on the Independent Media Centre that was conducted at the same time as the raid on the school building, which was across the road. A number of computers were damaged by police in the raid, and one English journalist was beaten by police outside the building.
"It appears that police were wanting to seize documents reporting on the protests, rather than anything else" commented Mr. Gardiner.
Today’s rally was one of many being held around the world this week demanding the Italian Government act over the raids.