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Police Brutality – Totally unacceptable.

Cast you minds back to when a video emerged of a Sergeant roughly handling a female prisoner in a custody suite whilst employed by Wiltshire Constabulary. Everyone was appalled by the behaviour and the video of the incident was beamed around the world, by news channels and bloggers.

People on twitter were disgusted with the behaviour of this Police Officer, based on those few minutes of video. We don’t know what had happened prior to make an officer snap to the point where he lost his temper with a female prisoner. Whether you think he was right or wrong, nobody can deny that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable from our Police Officers.

Just like the behaviour towards Ian Tomlinson who died during the G20 riots, which resulted in his death.

However, some of the people on twitter and social networking sites along with some blogs and forums, condemn the behaviour in both of the incidents above, but they never speak out about the brutality that took place against a female prisoner who was tortured whilst in Police Custody in Portugal.

Amnesty International in their 2011 report highlights this persons treatment, which has been proven in a Court of Law. They say:

Leonor Cipriano’s appeal against the ruling by the Criminal Court of Faro to acquit the three police officers involved in her detention in 2004 was still pending. The Court had found on 22 May 2009 that she had been tortured in police custody, but claimed it was not able to identify those responsible.

Her lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, states the following:

Joana Cipriano case – Case of Portugal final
March 18, 2011

Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, in compliance with the manifest public interest that cover all cases of disappearances of children, and especially that of Joana Cipriano, hereby inform about the media:

1 – For us, today received the final judgment’s Court of Appeal of Evora on all appeals, even by us in relation to the Court of Jury popular Judicial Court of Faro, which was about the brutal torture perpetrated by the Portuguese Judicial Police against Leonor Cipriano;

2 – The Court of Appeal in Évora considered all the evidence in the seat of the Court of first instance is amply sufficient to prove the existence of a serious crime of torture of Leonor Cipriano by police officers of the Portuguese State, in consequence declared rejected all the resources of defendants, including the intention to renew the same evidence;

3 – The Court of Appeal in Évora decided to keep the full ruling end of the first instance;

4 – This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Évora that:

a) Leonor Cipriano was brutally tortured by agents of the various Portuguese Judicial Police who remain unidentified;

b) Gonçalo Amaral de Sousa lied to the judiciary by claiming that Leonor Cipriano “fell down the stairs of the PJ in Faro and was not tortured,” and is therefore condemned as a perpetrator of a crime of making false allegations to 1 year and 6 months of the sentence in prison, suspended for the same period (1 year and 6 months);

c) Antonio Fernandes Nuno Cardoso falsified documents in order to give the impression that Leonor Cipriano “fell down the stairs of the PJ in Faro and was not tortured,” and is therefore condemned as a perpetrator of a crime of forgery of document to 2 years and 3 months imprisonment suspended for a period of two years;

5 – The Court of Appeal in Évora considered it not to aggravate the punishment of Gonçalo Amaral for this being a primary offender (no criminal record at the time of the crime) and also the same as being a retired police;

6 – Concrete This final decision of the Court of Appeal in Évora does not fit any more action at the national level, as provided by Article 400 of the Code of Criminal Procedure;

7 – As a result, Leonor Cipriano will introduce in the coming months a formal complaint against the Portuguese government to the United Nations for gross violation of the most basic human rights, calling for the condemnation and expulsion of Portugal’s Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.

Funchal, 18 March 2011.

Marcos Aragão Correia,
Counsel for the mother and stepfather of Joana Isabel Cipriano Guerreiro.

Irrespective of whether Leonor Cipriano was involved in what happened to her daughter is neither here nor there, what is relevant and most important, is that a person in Police Custody should not be tortured and should not sustain injuries as pictured below.

A person in custody should not have to endure injuries that Leonor Cipriano did.  Goncalo Amaral, according to Leonor Cipriano was there when she was being tortured.  If Goncalo Amaral, was in that room as Leonor has said and he did nothing to stop this behaviour towards a prisoner,  in my eyes he is as guilty as the person who cast the first blow to Leonor Cipriano.

Further Reading:

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2 comments on “Police Brutality – Totally unacceptable.


  1. 2 – The Court of Appeal in Évora considered all the evidence in the seat of the Court of first instance is amply sufficient to prove the existence of a serious crime of torture of Leonor Cipriano by police officers of the Portuguese State, in consequence declared rejected all the resources of defendants, including the intention to renew the same evidence;”

    Strange that. One Court says she’s been tortured though they can’t prove who did it (I could say something about that, but not for now) and convicts people for perjury and forgery. Yet another Court, without hearing the witness statements and probably also without reading the medical reports, says there’s amply evidence she’s been tortured and rejects the request for a new trial. 
    How did this second Court explain the bruises  etc. on Cipriano’s face, arms, chest? 

    I don’t know if her daughter is dead and if she’s involved into that, but by everything I’ve read I don’t get impressed by the evidence, nor by the methods of making her confess. 

    I’m still convinced there’s lots of decent PJ Officers and Judges in Portugal, but things like this just don’t sound right. 

  2. Cath, it is not a secure conviction, it can’t be.  To be questioned constantly for 48 hours and then beaten is enough for any person to confess to anything in order for the pain to stop.  

    That is not policing, every force irrespective of whatever Country have their bad cops.  It is those bad cops that tar all the good cops with the same brush.  That is not fair.

    The bad cops need to be removed from the force, have all their rights to pensions, clubs etc removed and those cases they were involved in given a complete review, especially if there is a chance that the conviction is not secure.

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