Follow-up to previously transmitted communications
1128. By letters dated 13 December 2001 and 15 January 2002 respectively, the Government responded to the letter sent by the Special Rapporteur on 30 September 2001 (see E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1, paras 1238 to 1255) and to the joint letter sent by the Special Rapporteur and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions on 30 September 2001 (ibid., paras 1256 to 1259).
1129. Concerning Carlos Zurita (ibid., para. 1240), the Government reported that it was not possible to confirm the case since the alleged victim did not file any complaint and the case was dismissed without investigation.
1130. Concerning Pedro Sousa and Pedro Azevedo Silva (ibid., para. 1241), the Government confirmed that Pedro Azevedo Silva had been hit with a truncheon in the face and kicked in the legs by an identified officer and was subjected to ill-treatment in a precinct in Lisbon by an unidentified officer. During the criminal procedure, it was revealed that a third officer was accused of assault against another demonstrator. While no clinical data was found concerning Pedro Soussa, the Government indicated that the doctor who examined Pedro Azevedo referred to “bruised injury in the left cheekbone mucous membrane which caused three days of illness”. An inquiry ordered by the Ministry and conducted by the Inspectorate General of Internal Administration resulted into a disciplinary procedure upon which a disciplinary penalty was imposed by the Minister. The National Directorate of the Public Security Police also initiated disciplinary procedures against the third police officer. Criminal proceedings were initiated by the Public Prosecutor’s Department of Lisbon (DIAP) which indicted the two above-mentioned identified police officers. The criminal procedure was still underway at the time of writing.
1131. Concerning Jorge Manuel da Conceição Simões (ibid. Para. 1242), the Government clarified that it was not possible to prove that the alleged assault took place since there was no witnesses and the officers denied it. These officers reportedly stated that the detainee hit himself against the walls and doors. When he was examined at the Hospital of Anadia, he presented external injuries in the anterior face of the thorax and an oedema in the scalp. The facts were investigated by the Inspectorate General of the Internal Administration (IGAI), by decision of the Minister of Internal Administration, together with similar complaints against the same officers of the Nucleus of Criminal Investigation of the Republican National Guard (GNR) of Anadia. The results of the inquiry indicated that there were responsibilities that could be attributed to seven members of the Nucleus of Criminal Investigation. The Government also reported that the Public Prosecutor responsible for the procedure considered that the facts constituted a crime of a military nature and sent it to the Military Court of Coimbra. Four officers have already been indicted by this Court and the date for the trial was already scheduled. However, in the case of Jorge Simões, a criminal inquiry had previously been opened by the Public Prosecutor’s Department, in the scope of which the alleged assault were investigated and the inquiry, closed.
1132. Concerning Marco Fernandes (ibid., para. 1243), the Government responded that the allegations transmitted by the Special Rapporteur were ascertained by the IGAI. The Government added that disciplinary proceedings were initiated by the Regional Command of the PSP of Madeira against responsible officers. The procedures were later forwarded to the IGAI by decision of the Minister of Internal Administration. Upon conclusion of these procedures, each officer involved was suspended from duty for 200 days. The Judicial Court of Funchal also started a criminal inquiry into these facts. This procedure was still at the phase of investigation at the time of writing. The Government also indicated that Marco Fernandes was taken to the Hospital Centre of Funchal, where he was diagnosed with “bruised injury in the scalp and traumatism in the same region”.
1133. Concerning Cândido Ventura Coelho (ibid., para. 1244), the Government indicated that the allegations included in the Special Rapporteur’s letter correspond to the account presented by the alleged victim. However, these facts have not been confirmed and the complainant has given contradictory statements. He was examined at a hospital and by a Court’s expert. Both referred to the same injuries, i.e. “ciliary haematoma on the left side and cervical excoriation on the left side”. According to the Government, disciplinary proceedings were opened by the National Directorate of the PSP against a police officer that the alleged victim identified as his aggressor. No final decision was yet rendered regarding the disciplinary procedure at the time of writing. Furthermore, the Public Prosecutor’s Department of Lisbon (DIAP) also launched a criminal inquiry, but later ordered the dismissal of the proceedings due to lack of evidence.
1134. Concerning Vaz Martins (ibid., para. 1247), Duarte Teives Henriques (ibid., para. 1248) and Rogério Alexandre de Almeida Camoesas (ibid., para. 1249), the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that the corresponding decisions respect criteria of evaluation of proof, guiltiness and conformity and degree of the penalties. Regarding Vaz Martins, the case is in the phase of the gathering of information. Regarding Duarte Teives, the case has been dismissed and no officers was proved to be responsible.
1135. Concerning Marcelino Avelino Ramos Soares (ibid., para. 1251), the Government indicated that an enquiry into allegations of ill-treatment had been conducted by the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección”. The case was subsequently closed because of lack of evidence that the detainee had been assaulted or subjected to excessive use of force by the prison employees. The Government added that criminal proceedings had been conducted by “Servicios del Ministerio Público del Tribunal Judicial) of Oeiras, which also closed the case.
1136. Concerning Augusto da Conceição Mata (ibid., para. 1252), the Government reported that an enquiry had been conducted by the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección”, which did not found any evidence of disciplinary infraction by the guards. Following a new complaint filed by the alleged victim with the Office of the General Prosecutor, the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección” resumed the proceedings on 23 October 1998. After having examined the case again, the latter confirmed its previous decision to close the case. The criminal proceedings at the Judicial Court (Tribunal Judicial) of Cartaxo were also terminated because of lack of evidence. 1137. Concerning Alberico A. Lopes Correira (ibid., para. 1253), the Government reponded that criminal proceedings had been initiated against him for bodyly harm and assault against physical integrity of the prison staff.
1138. Concerning Belmiro Francisco Schat Duarte dos Reis Santana (ibid., para. 1254), the Government reported that following an enquiry conducted by the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección”, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against one prison oficial. The latter was dismissed from his functions. The Government indicated that a criminal complaint had been filed in connection with the case. Criminal proceedings were initiated and led to a nine months’ imprisonment sentence suspended by two years. The prison official concerned appealed the sentence. The decision of this appeal was still pending at the time of writing.
1139. Concerning António Palma (ibid., para. 1255), the Government indicated that based on an enquiry conducted into allegations of ill-treatment, it was concluded that the use of force in this case was necessary and adequate in view of the violent behavior of the detainee. Finally, the Government informed that the prosecutor closed the case.
1140. Concerning Francisco António Viceto Cordeiro (ibid., para. 1257), the Government responded that an enquiry into his death had been conducted by the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección”. However, the case was filed due to a lack of evidence proving that he had been assaulted or that a disciplinary infraction had been committed. Further, the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that the results of an autopsy concluded that the cause of the death was pneumonia and that no signs of violence were found on the corpse. Finally, it added that the prosecutor had also closed the case.
1141. Concerning Dionisio Alberto Oriola (ibid., para. 1258), the Government reported that an enquiry into his death had been conducted by the “Servicio de Auditoria e Inspección”, the “Servicio del Ministerio Público del Tribunal Judicial de Coimbra” and the jud icial police. In the context of penal proceedings, an autopsy was carried out by the Forensic Legal Medical Institute of Coimbra. The Government further added that the case was eventually closed because of a lack of evidence of disciplinary infraction. It was concluded that he had committed suicide by hanging.
1142. Concerning Carlos Araújo (ibid., para. 1259), the Government confirmed that the allegations transmitted by the Special Rapporteur were broadly true. Nevertheless, the Government clarified that the aggression to other detainees was not fully proved. An autopsy was carried out by the Institute of Forensic Sciences, which issued a report that indicates that the death was the consequence of an internal bleeding as a result of the serious traumatic abdominal injuries due to a bullet. The IGAI opened an inquiry following an order by the Minister of Internal Administration. At the end of the inquiry, the opening of a disciplinary procedure, conducted by the IGAI, was proposed. It was concluded that the police officer did not take the necessary precautions to avoid hitting Carlos Araújo and that he could or should have thought that it could happen. The administrative procedure was suspended pending the conclusion of the criminal one. A criminal inquiry was opened by the Public Prosecutor at the Judicial Court of Évora. As a result, the police officer concerned was indicted and the case was heard by a judge of that court. The judicial sentence was not final at the time of writing.
This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.