There were further allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officers. Judicial inquiries into such allegations were very slow. Hearings were opened in the trials of some law enforcement officers charged with ill-treatment but were subject to frequent delays. In May the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, established under the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to examine the treatment of people deprived of their liberty, carried out a second visit to follow up the criticisms and recommendations made after its 1992 visit (see Amnesty International Report 1995). There were further allegations of torture and ill-treatment. The practices most commonly alleged were kicking, punching and beating with truncheons. Complaints of verbal abuse were also common. Most of the reported incidents resulted from officers behaving in a violent, arbitrary and undisciplined way when faced with petty incidents and misunderstandings with the public. In June Joaquim Teixeira, a computer specialist from Vila Real, alleged that he and a friend had been ill-treated by officers of the Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP), Public Security Police. They had been sitting outside a club in the early hours of the morning and Joaquim Teixeira was playing a harmonica. The police told him to stop and ordered both men to show their identity cards. Joaquim Teixeira claimed the officer insulted him and an argument ensued. He said he was threatened with a beating and then hit in the stomach with a truncheon. When he tried to seize this he was hit in the face. He was arrested, handcuffed and taken to a police station, where he claimed that he was beaten with a truncheon, kicked and punched by a group of officers, and that his friend was punched in the face. Joaquim Teixeira was then taken to a hospital, which issued a medical certificate noting that he was a "victim of aggression", that he was vomiting, required stitches to three head wounds and had injuries to his back, chest, sides and face. He was taken back to the police station and charged with assaulting officers and resisting arrest. A judge released him on bail. In July Duarte Teives, a renowned Lisbon lawyer, complained that PSP officers had assaulted him in front of witnesses. He and his wife had parked their car in front of the city hall, where his wife worked and for which she had a special parking permit. When the officers challenged them she went to fetch the permit and Duarte Teives remained with the car. The officers insisted he move it, which he refused to do. When they threatened him with arrest he replied that the order was unlawful. Duarte Teives alleged that an officer then pushed him violently to the ground, handcuffed him and threw him into the back seat of the patrol car with such force that when he hit the opposite door it opened. He said an officer then kicked him in the testicles and in the leg, fracturing it, and that during transfer to the police station he was repeatedly slapped in the face. He was finally taken to the cells in the building of the Civil Government, escorted, at his request, by senior officials to guarantee his safety. He was later charged with resisting arrest, failing to identify himself, insulting the police and damaging a police car. He was then freed and taken to hospital, where he remained for 24 hours. Inquiries into such allegations were slow, and trials subject to many delays. In May the Military Tribunal in Lisbon sentenced five officers of the paramilitary Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), National Republican Guard, to terms of imprisonment for using unnecessary violence against Francisco Carretas and Arnaldo Brandão in 1992 (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). The trial had first opened in November 1994 but was suspended on three separate occasions because of the officers' failure to attend. The senior officer, a corporal, was sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment and four other soldiers were each sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Two soldiers were acquitted for lack of evidence. One of the soldiers found guilty had already received a suspended sentence for assault in another case. The court found that Francisco Carretas and Arnaldo Brandão had been detained by the GNR in Almada in February 1992 and taken first to the GNR post and later to a neighbouring wood where they were punched, kicked and beaten with truncheons. Francisco Carretas was treated in hospital for a fractured coccyx, and injuries to his neck, right ear, scalp, buttocks, chest, ribs and spine. His friend suffered injuries to his rib-cage and back (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). The officers were released pending appeals. In December the Supreme Military Tribunal upheld the convictions. The court hearing in the trial of six GNR officers charged with causing physical harm to Paulo Portugal by assaulting him in 1991 (see Amnesty International Report 1993) opened in November. Amnesty International urged the authorities to ensure that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment were promptly and thoroughly investigated and that those responsible were brought to justice. In August Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Justice seeking information about the progress of the inquiry by the Ombudsman, announced in 1992, into the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), Judicial Police. The inquiry was to look into 32 separate complaints of ill-treatment by PJ officers in the Lisbon and Coimbra area (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). Amnesty International had received no information about the results of this inquiry by the end of the year.

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