Seventeen people have been detained in Italy on accusations of systematically torturing, imprisoning and humiliating vulnerable people in a care home in Sicily.
On Friday, police authorities released CCTV footage appearing to show the suspects dragging patients into a small room, beating them up and verbally abusing them.
The 23 care home residents, all affected by “grave physical and mental disabilities” would also allegedly be locked up for several hours, in the dark, with no food or toilet facilities.
Police authorities added the patients also underwent “massive” and “unjustified” drug treatment.
This was carried out, the statement reads, to “sedate” them, in order “reduce the risk for potential complications during the work shifts”.
The care home -- which Italian media identified as the “Suor Rosina La Grua” in Castelbuono -- also stands accused of using over €470,000 in public funds for private purchases such as cars, food products, jewellery and other gifts.
Authorities added the funds were obtained through falsified documents involving the organisation's finances and building structure.
The care home residents, 17 men and six women, have all been transferred to another facility, while the facility has been closed.