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The BBC's Justin Webb reports
"The first person to be killed in a demonstration in Italy for twenty-five years was buried here today"
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The BBC's Zubieda Malik in Genoa
"Until Wednesday, four of the protestors had not been allowed access to lawyers or Foreign Office officials"
 real 28k

Daniel MacQuillan's lawyer Gilberto Paganni
"They have been held in jail illegally"
 real 28k

William MacQuillan, father of released Briton
"Daniel is feeling quite angry"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK
Five G8 Britons freed
Riot police
Police swooped on a protest organisation
All five Britons arrested after street fighting at the Genoa summit have been released in Italy, amid allegations of police brutality and mistreatment.

Jonathan Blair, 38, from Newport, Daniel MacQuillan, 35, and Richard Moth, 32, from north London, left the police station in Pavia, northern Italy, where they were being held.

I have never seen something like that in my professional life

Gilberto Paganni
Mr Moth's girlfriend, Nicola Doherty, 27, also left the centre in Voghera where she was staying, but Mark Covell, 33, from London is still in hospital being treated for internal bleeding and broken ribs, although he is no longer under arrest. It is understood he is a journalist who was taking part in any protest.

The Foreign Office says none has been charged with any offence

Mr McQuillan was among a group of people who were detained during an allegedly brutal police raid on Saturday night.

An Italian judge had ruled the arrests of 90 protesters illegal after no one had been allowed to contact their families, lawyers or consular officials, Mr McQuillan's lawyer Gilberto Paganni said.

Nicola Docherty and Richard Moth
Nicola Docherty and Richard Moth have both been freed
Mr Paganni said he was "astonished" at Mr MacQuillan's treatment by officers who refused to allow him to make a single phone call while in custody.

"I have never seen something like that in my professional life," he said.

Mr Paganni called the incident "a suspension of constitutional guarantees in our country".

There were complaints from relatives and campaigners when four of the demonstrators were not allowed to see consular staff or lawyers after they were seized in a raid on the headquarters of a major protest group.

There are also allegations police used excessive force during the arrests.

Diplomats were finally granted access earlier on Wednesday after the five had been seen by an examining magistrate.

UK authorities criticised

The anti-capitalist group to which some of the protesters belonged has claimed the UK authorities have been ignoring the five to keep them out of the public eye.

Two other Britons arrested during the summit, Lawrence Miles, 25, and John Colin Blair, 19, originally from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, had earlier been freed by police.

They probably were in a state where they could not be publicly presented without it becoming obvious to their families and the press what had been done

Jonathan Neale
Campaigners for Miss Doherty and Mr Moth had complained they were being held under conditions that breached their human rights.

Jonathan Neale, of Globalise Resistance, the anti-capitalist group to which the pair belonged, said they had been further beaten while in police custody and that pressure was being exerted "from on top" to keep them out of the public eye.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Mr Neale's claims of further beatings would be investigated.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If there are allegations of assault they of course need to be investigated."

Summit violence
Violence surrounded the weekend summit
Mr Neale also claimed the orders to leave the couple in limbo had come from Prime Minister Tony Blair in a bid to back his own stance on the riots.

The Foreign Office dismissed the claim as "rubbish".

Miss Doherty's parents have supported allegations by the solicitor for their daughter and Mr Moth that they had been assaulted by police and denied consular access.

However, Italian authorities have defended the actions of the police, who, they said, were faced by a section of protesters intent on provocation.

The couple were arrested with 88 other people when police swooped on the Genoa Social Forum (GSF) on Saturday night after two days of anti-G8 summit rioting.

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See also:

22 Jul 01 | Europe
Genoa counts the cost
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Eyewitness: Genoa police raid
21 Jul 01 | Media reports
Newspapers lament Genoa violence
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