Roma continued to be denied equal access to education, housing, health care and employment. The authorities introduced new legislation which could result in discriminatory activities.
Unlawful forced evictions of Roma drove them further into poverty. Both Roma with Italian citizenship and those of EU or another nationality suffered the adverse effects.
On 31 March, Milan authorities forcibly evicted a community of about 150 Roma living under the Bacula overpass in the north of the city. Only four families, approximately 30 people, were provided with adequate alternative accommodation. The majority of Roma living in Bacula camp had been previously forcibly evicted from other camps in Milan in 2008.
On 11 November, city authorities forcibly evicted a community of about 350 Romani people from Via Centocelle camp, in Rome. All the community's shelters were destroyed and the municipality offered short-term shelter to approximately 70 people. Members of the community were not notified of the eviction, contrary to domestic law, which states that authorities should notify each individual, or publish an order or notice. As the order was not formalized in this way, the community could not challenge it through the courts, and stop or postpone the eviction.
On 30 November, Adel Ben Mabrouk and Riadh Nasseri, two Tunisian nationals formerly detained without charge by the USA at Guantánamo Bay, were transferred to Italy. Both men were detained upon arrival and faced prosecution in Italy, reportedly on charges for terrorism-related offences. At the end of the year, they remained in prison in Milan under a special security regime. Deaths in custody, torture and other ill-treatment
There were widespread allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by law enforcement officials as well as reports of deaths in custody in disputed circumstances. Italy failed to introduce an independent police complaints body and to introduce the crime of torture in its ordinary criminal legislation.
The investigation in the case of Emmanuel Bonsu continued. In September 2008, Emmanuel Bonsu was arrested by municipal police officers in Parma. He was reportedly beaten and physically assaulted, resulting in long-term psychological damage. In June, 10 officers were indicted for injury, assault, abduction, slander and false testimony, and other lesser charges. The trial was still pending at the end of the year.
On 6 July, four police officers were sentenced to prison terms of three years and six months each for the manslaughter of Federico Aldrovandi, who died in September 2005 after being stopped by police officers in Ferrara. The police officers had not been suspended from duty during the investigation or trial, and were appealing against the sentence at the end of the year.
On 22 October, Stefano Cucchi died in Sandro Pertini hospital's prison wing seven days after his arrest. His family believed injuries seen on his body after his death were indicative of ill-treatment. The Public Prosecutor investigating the death of Stefano Cucchi charged three prison guards and three doctors with his manslaughter.