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World : Europe : San Marino

The population of San Marino is comprised of native Sammarinese and Italian citizens. Crop farming, sheep farming, and the working of stone from the quarries formed the early backbone of San Marino's economy. It has no mineral resources, and today most of the land is cultivated or covered by woods.

According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason named Marinus the Dalmatian fled to the island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano and founded a small community of people following their Christian beliefs. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano only dates back to the Middle Ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the land was renamed "Land of San Marino" and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San Marino."

The original government structure was composed of a self-governed assembly known as the Arengo, which consisted of the heads of each family. In 1243, the positions of Captains Regent (Capitani Reggenti) were established to be the joint heads of state.

The land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463, at which time the republic entered into an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later that year, the town of Faetano joined the republic on its own accord. Since then, the size of San Marino has remained unchanged.

San Marino has been occupied by foreign militaries twice in its history, both for only short periods of time. In 1503, Cesare Borgia, known as Valentino, occupied the republic until his death several months later. In 1739, Cardinal Alberoni used military force to occupy the country. Civil disobedience was used to protest his occupation, and clandestine notes sent to the Pope to obtain justice were answered by the Pope's recognition of San Marino's rights and restoration of San Marino independence.


The law prohibits such practices, and there were no reports that government officials employed them.

There were no reports that security forces committed human rights abuses.


The principal economic activities were tourism, farming, light manufacturing, and banking. The country's population is approximately 28,000. In addition to revenue from taxes and customs, the Government also derived income from selling coins and postage stamps to international collectors and from an annual subsidy provided by the Italian Government under the terms of the Basic Treaty with Italy. Gross domestic product grew an estimated 2 percent, and wages grew 5.7 percent in 2003. The unemployment rate for the first semester of the year was 2.9 percent. Officially, the inflation rate is the same as Italy's, but in both countries it was actually higher than reported. Corruption by public officials occurred and was usually enhanced by political rivalry. However, the Government did not consider corruption a priority.


The law provides for freedom of assembly and association, and the Government generally respected these rights in practice.

The law provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice.

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2004 is submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to Congress each year "an Annual Report on International Religious Freedom supplementing the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom." This Annual Report includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide.

The Constitution provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage.


Elected officials effectively controlled the centralized police organization (the Civil Police), which was responsible for internal security and civil defense; the Gendarmerie, a military group responsible for internal security and public order; and the Guardie di Rocca, a military group responsible for external defense that occasionally assisted the Gendermerie in criminal investigations.

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.


The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the Government generally observed these prohibitions.


The law provides for an independent judiciary, and the Government generally respected this provision in practice.

The judicial system requires that the country's lower court judges be noncitizens, with the aim of assuring impartiality; most lower court judges are Italian. A local conciliation judge handles cases of minor importance. Other cases are handled by non-Sammarinese judges who serve under contract to the Government. The final court of review is the Council of Twelve, a group of judges chosen for 6-year terms (four of whom are replaced every 2 years) from among the members of the GGC.

The law provides for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right.


Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits such practices, and there were no reports that government officials employed them.

Prison conditions generally met international standards, and the Government permitted visits by independent human rights observers. Male prisoners were held separately from female prisoners, as were juveniles from adults and pretrial detainees from convicted prisoners.


The law provides for the protection of women from violence. Rape, including spousal rape, is a crime under the law. Occurrences of violence against women, including spousal abuse, were rare.

Several laws provide specifically for the equality of women in the workplace and elsewhere. In practice, there was no discrimination in pay or working conditions. All careers were open to women, including careers in the military and police as well as the highest public offices.

The citizenship law provides that both men and women may transmit citizenship either through birth or naturalization; however, children of male citizens only need to state their "intent" to retain citizenship, whereas children of female citizens must state their "desire" to retain citizenship. It is not clear if this affects the transmission of citizenship in practice.

There were no women serving on the Great and General Council during the year. However, women held positions in mainstream party organizations. There were 9 women in the 60-seat Parliament, but no minority group members.


The Government was committed to children's rights and welfare. Public education and medical care services were amply funded. Education is free until grade 13 (usually age 18) and compulsory until age 16. Most students continued in school until age 18. No differences were apparent in the treatment of girls and boys in education or health care. Violence against or abuse of children was an isolated problem; however, there were no reported cases during the year. One case from 2003 was pending.


The law does not explicitly prohibit trafficking in persons. However, there were no reports that persons were trafficked to, from, or within the country.


Internet research assisted by David Alexander


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