A mafia boss who has been in prison for more than 20 years has the right to listen to music in his cell, an Italian court has ruled.
Domenico Strisciuglio, 48, had requested a CD player for his cell but prison authorities in Sassari in Sardinia declined the request.
He appealed and a court in Sassari ruled in his favour, saying that listening to music was a fundamental human right.
The court noted that Strisciuglio, a mafia boss from the southern region of Puglia, had access to several television channels but said they were “not capable of satisfying someone who has an interest in listening to music.”
Strisciuglio, a once powerful Mafioso from the port of Bari on the Adriatic coast, has been in jail since 1999 after being sentenced to 22 years behind bars for murder and other crimes.
The court ruled that despite his violent past, he had “the right to pursue cultural activities.”
That was all the more pertinent given that Strisciuglio is being held under Italy’s strictest prison regime, the court said.
The regime, designed to minimise the risk that mafia dons continue to communicate with the outside world, means no cultural, recreational or sporting activities, a ban on receiving parcels and no association with other prisoners. Family visits are infrequent and prisoners are held in solitary confinement.
In 2019, Strisciuglio won another case when he successfully argued that he should be allowed to watch television past midnight if he wanted to.
A court ruled that the prison authorities’ attempts to restrict his viewing amounted to an “unreasonable sacrifice” for an inmate who was confined to his cell “for at least 21 hours a day.”
Strisciuglio was head of a clan within a criminal underworld known as the Camorra of Bari – not to be confused with the more famous Camorra of Naples. Bari’s criminal clans are involved in extortion, robbery and drug trafficking.
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