Decision of the Court of Crotone, Criminal Section, No. 1410 of 12 December 2012

In this proceedings four immigrants, subjected to administrative detention in the identification and expulsion centre (CIE) “Sant’Anna” in Isola Capo Rizzuto, were charged with the criminal offense of damage to public property, committed in the course of a protest carried out for some days against their detention and living conditions in the CIE. The Court of Crotone stated that the detention of these persons was in breach of the EU directive of 2008 regarding common procedures in member states for returning illegally staying third-countries nationals. Moreover, the treatment to which the accused persons had been subjected in the CIE was contrary to Articles 3 and 5 of the ECHR. Applying Article 52 of the Italian penal code, concerning self-defense, the Court declared all the accused persons not punishable, because their conduct was aimed at protecting their fundamental rights from an unjust offense through the only available means.