Italian Senate approves bill outlawing torture

Rome : The Senate, the upper house of Italy’s Parliament on Wednesday approved a controversial bill introducing the crime of torture with 195 votes in favour ,eight against and 34 abstentions.

The bill was amended with respect to the version approved by the Lower House in April 2015 and now returns to the lower house of Parliament for final approval.

Urging the Chamber of Deputies to vote the bill into law without delay, “It filled a very grave gap in Italian legislation,” local media quoted Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, as saying.

Before the vote, Luigi Manconi, President of the Senate Human Rights Committee and the bill’s first signatory, said he would not take part in protest at the way his original draft had been “turned upside down .

“On the first day of the current parliament, March 15, 2013, I presented a bill on torture. Over the following years the text, which followed the deep spirit that animated the Conventions and international treaties on this subject, has been turned upside down,” he added.

Italy is required to introduce the crime of torture under the terms of the 1984 UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which was ratified by the Italian parliament in 1988.