Luigino Longo

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Luigino Longo (born 1958), also known as Gigi, is a Norwegian-Italian trade union and socialist activist. He is currently serving jail time in Sweden following a controversial trial in which he was convicted of assaulting the police during the 2001 Gothenburg demonstrations against George W. Bush and the EU.

Longo was arrested during clashes with police in Gothenburg during the 2001 demonstrations surrounding the EU summit and a visit by George W. Bush. He was tried and sentenced in record time, and is now serving a 2.5 year long jail term in Sweden.

Critics have argued that the trial was extremely unfair:

  • He was appointed an inferior defendant, who did not present any witnesess and ignored the fact that the police witnesses altered their statements several times through the trial.
  • Video evidence corroborated by police witnesses was later shown to be invalid, as Norwegian State Television had filmed Longo on his way per bus to Gothenburg at that exact moment, as part of a documentary.
  • Alleviating circumstances such as a heart condition and a family to support was not given any weight in sentencing.
  • The sentence of 2.5 years is extreme considering a conviction for having thrown a rock (which under other circumstances would lead to 30 days).
  • While in custody, he was not allowed visits, and most of his correspondence was blocked, making it difficult for him to prepare for his own trial.

Following Longo's and other activists' trials much information has surfaced about brutal police methods, evidence having been falsified by the prosecutors and media having deliberately part taken in cover ups (affecting juries). While this has altered the Swedish State's position to not try any police officers involved in the clashes, it has not had any effect on sentences already handed out to activists.

There is a Norwegian campaign to have Longo's sentence revoked, but it has not met with any success.

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