The Torture Room in Italy's Poggioreale Prison

"Room Zero" is known as one of the worst places to be sent if you are an inmate of the jail in Poggioreale, Naples. Officially this room is an isolation room; unofficially, "Room Zero" is a torture chamber.
The isolation system in Italy is one of the leading causes of suicide in prison. If the latest accusations against 23 people are verified, it could represent a new and serious violation of human rights in an Italian prison.

An investigation has been launched into the crimes allegedly committed by 23 people (22 prison agents and one doctor) between 2012 and 2014 against some inmates of the Poggioreale prison.

Legalized torture

The room is without video surveillance, and its walls are covered by blood. Anything is possible once you're inside. The room's very existence is by itself a crime.

The alleged crimes the prosecutor of Naples is investigating include kidnapping, abuse of power, private violence, injury, and mistreatment.

The exterior of the prison at Poggioreale, Naples. Inside is 'Room Zero' — an unofficial torture chamber.

Causes and consequences

"It's extremely important to accurately investigate this case, which involves people restricted under the responsibility of a public authority," said Patrizio Gonnella, the president of Associazione Antigone.

One critical problem is firmly establishing the nature and extent of the crimes, owing to the fact that most of the time, people doesn't denounce immediately the injuries they suffered because they fear further abuse if they speak out.