Portugal Human Rights

Torture and other ill-treatment

On 22 May the Criminal Court of Faro issued its sentence in the case of the torture of Leonor Cipriano. The court recognized that she had been tortured in police custody in 2004, but acquitted all three police officers, claiming that it was impossible to identify exactly who had been responsible. A fourth officer was convicted of giving false testimony and another was convicted of falsifying documents. Leonor Cipriano's appeal was pending at the end of the year.

By the end of the year, no trial date had been set for three judicial police officers accused of torturing Virgolino Borges in March 2000. The case was due to go to trial in November 2008 but was delayed pending further medical examinations requested by the defence. Virgolino Borges said that he had been tortured by police officers who punched him and beat him on the soles of his feet with a wooden post while in custody. The investigation had been closed in 2005 by the public prosecutor, who stated that Virgolino Borges' injuries could have been self-inflicted. Virgolino Borges appealed against this decision to the Lisbon region courts: first to the Tribunal de Instrução and then to the Tribunal da Relação, which in November 2005 ordered that the case go to trial.