ASGI clarifies what conduct should be taken by law enforcement personnel when identifying foreign persons

In a new briefing, the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione – ASGI) clarified in what cases a foreign or stateless person should be subjected to identification in Italy, and in what circumstances and to what extent Italian law enforcement personnel could resort to the use of force to identify a person refusing to be identified.

The note clarifies that any foreign person can be subjected to identification if his identity is uncertain. Moreover, where a person refuses to be subjected to identification there are two cases in which punitive sanctions are enforced. Firstly, if the person refusing to be identified uses violence, he/she is guilty of committing the offence of using, or threatening to use, violence against a public officer. In this case, the person can be arrested, sued and convicted. In a second case, if a person refuses to identify himself/herself but does not use violence, then he/she commits the less severe offence of refusing to give information on his own identity but is not arrested (passive resistance).

According to ASGI, the law enforcement personnel can collect a sample of hair or saliva from a person only when the latter is refusing to provide his/her identity and is under investigation. This should be carried out ensuring the respect of the individual’s dignity and only with an authorisation provided by the Public Prosecutor. This is the only form of coercive identification contemplated in the Italian law. In any other circumstance, the law does not allow enforcement personnel to use duress to force any person to be identified. If force is used, then the act is unlawful and those responsible should be prosecuted accordingly.

Fonte :ECRE

Pin It