Video of gendarmes assaulting immigrants causes uproar

The case takes a turn of public scandal in Portugal. After a report unveiled Thursday evening by the CNN Portugal channel, in which gendarmes filmed themselves assaulting and humiliating immigrants, the main Portuguese politicians condemned and deemed “unacceptable” on Friday the visible acts of violence and humiliation in the video. “Behavior of this nature is unacceptable,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on the sidelines of a public event.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, for his part, condemned, in a statement, “unacceptable violations of freedoms” and called for “justice to be done quickly”. These immigrants were beaten, beaten, forced to kneel in humiliating positions or sprayed with tear gas, according to images broadcast by this television channel.

28 soldiers excluded in three years

The facts, which date back to 2018 and 2019, are currently the subject of an internal investigation and justice in Odemira, in southern Portugal, said the Republican National Guard (GNR). The public prosecutor, who opened a judicial investigation, accuses these soldiers of “having made excessive use” of their authority and of having sought to cause “suffering and humiliation by taking advantage of the precarious situation, fragile and defenseless ”of these men, according to the indictment cited by local media.

The first facts, which date back to 2018, concern “five gendarmes involved in attacks” against Asian immigrants, explains the national gendarmerie, specifying that this first investigation made it possible to open another investigation “involving seven soldiers” including “three repeat offenders “.

For the moment, two gendarmes have been suspended by the Minister of the Interior, while for the others the investigations of the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration are still ongoing. The GNR said it did not “recognize itself in the conduct and deviant behavior” of these soldiers and reaffirmed “zero tolerance towards any form of discrimination”. Over the past three years, 28 soldiers have been excluded from the gendarmerie in Portugal.

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