Home » News » Inhabitants of Europe » Padua, Italy, the coordinator of the IAI accused of defending a family against eviction, call for international mobilization

Mostra/Nascondi il menu

Padua, Italy, the coordinator of the IAI accused of defending a family against eviction, call for international mobilization

The Court in Padua has summoned Cesare Ottolini, global coordinator of the IAI, accused of “aggravated private violence” for successfully defending a family of migrants against eviction from their home. The family is one of many families defended over 40 years of struggle for the right to housing in his city and on all continents.Call for international mobilization.

Cesare is facing a four-year prison sentence because he made up for the mayor's and the Italian government's inaction. They have failed to meet their legal, national, and international obligations in the face of the excessive power of banks.

The accusations, which are inconsistent because there was no violence, except against the couple and their minor children who are being evicted, are totally unfair and underline the growing criminalization of struggles for the right to housing in Italy and internationally.

The IAI and the Unione Inquilini, of which Cesare is a member, immediately mobilized and have already received many statements of solidarity.

You can read below Ottolini's appeal on hearing the news of his indictment.

We will keep you informed and we will soon communicate how to show your solidarity.

Contact: solidarieta.cesare@habitants.org


A complaint, a thousand complaints, they will never let me be silent and I will never stop being supportive! None of us will stop!

Dear comrades,

I'm informing you that I will have to appear before the Court of Padua because I am accused of "aggravated private violence". According to the judge I would have violated the article 610, of the Criminal Code (penalty up to 4 years imprisonment) with the aggravating circumstance of article 61, paragraph 10, of the Criminal Code, because I would have committed violence against a public official.

What is it? On 13/09/17 I participated together with other comrades in a solidarity initiative organized by the Unione Inquilini in support of a family of Algerian origin with two minor children, under eviction because they could not pay the mortgage to the Bank.

The initiative, absolutely peaceful, allowed the family to stay in their home and open a dialogue with the Municipality of San Martino di Lupari, the Prefecture of Padua and with the property to find solutions respectful of human rights. Instead, those who were charged with evicting the family to sell the housing seized by the Bank at a higher price, did not like it and denounced me.

The solidarity initiative in which I participated, together with other comrades was therefore completely legitimate and effective, because it prevented the violation of the human rights of this family, ratified by Italy (Law No. 881 of 1977), in particular of their right to health, which should be protected by the Mayor as required by Law No. 833 of 1978.

In other words, I am accused of having played a recognized constitutional role at all levels, including by the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.

Over 40 years of activity in defense of the right to housing in my city, in particular of the evicted, almost 30 internationally, including 15 years of Zero Evictions Campaign with the International Alliance of Inhabitants, 7 years in the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions of UN Habitat, and 7 years in the International Tribunal of Evictions: were years of battles, which saw strong opposition with the counterpart and the police, from Padua to Rome, from St. Petersburg to Moscow, from Porto Alegre to Nairobi, from Madrid to Barcelona , from Hong Kong to Taiwan and Guayaquil, just to mention some of them.

I'm not the first nor, unfortunately, will I be the last one. But it is the first time I am accused of this "crime".

What to say?

It is a very serious fact that must alarm everyone, not only for personal attack, but above all because it is an attack that seeks to criminalize solidarity for the evicted, at all levels.

So I send a loud cry to all of you, comrades and friends that you are my big family, to revive the battle for Zero Evictions and against criminalisation.

Their denunciation, a thousand complaints, will never let me be silent and I will never cease to be in solidarity! None of us will stop!

Looking forward to your comments and proposals, ciao in solidarity and, as always without any violence,  Zero Evictions!


The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was:

Adele Parker


Log in or create a user account to comment.