Nobody criticizes the French police with impunity…even in Portugal!

Nobody criticizes the French police with impunity…even in Portugal!

Can we freely criticize the actions of the French police without fear of being upset? in contrast ? The question, as we know, troubles us in France. The Portuguese adventure of Christina Sampaio, collaborator of V economic alternatives, It unfortunately appears that the climate is not much calmer outside.

What happened ? Every Thursday, the Portuguese public channel RTP 3 broadcasts a short clip entitled Annoying animation, in turn produced by one of the cartoonists in the group to which the illustrator Cristina Sampaio belongs, who especially draws the opinion pages of our monthly magazine. This is a carte blanche, lasting about thirty seconds, and related to the topic of the hour.

On 6 July, as a reaction to Nahl’s death, Christina filmed a video showing a French policeman shooting more enthusiastically at his target in complete darkness. As usual this Annoying animation It was rebroadcast on Friday 7 July.

The next day, RTP 3 received a letter from Manuel Magina da Silvala, Director of the Portuguese Police, announcing that he would file a complaint against the channel and Cristina for undermining the “credibility and prestige” of the police. Captured the regulatory body for the audiovisual sector in Portugal and the press card committee.

The Portuguese Ministry of the Interior even went so far as to contact the canal’s board of directors to inform them of this Freedom of expression must not harm the image and prestige of institutions.which constitutes, as Christina recalls, ‘Serious obstacle to freedom of expression’.

The channel’s board of directors responded that it had no right to justify the content of the news programmes “The values ​​of freedom of expression and opinion are the pillars of democracy and public service in RTP”. But the far-right Chiga party in Portugal demanded that Cristina Sampaio be summoned to appear before a parliamentary commission.

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Threats and insults

The Portuguese media has largely covered this issue. Andre Carrillo, the cartoonist and producer of the series, has championed freedom of expression. Many journalists, commentators and comedians have shown their support for Cristina Sampaio around the world, as does economic alternatives through this article.

In Portugal, the Public Prosecutor has not yet decided whether the complaint is admissible. However, an online smear campaign followed, and Cristina Sampaio received multiple threats and insults on social networks.

The Spam Cartoon team responded with a press release in which it responded to its critics, stating that the difference between it and the latter is that in the event of a dispute, its members do not threaten anyone and content themselves with drawing a picture. We join them in reminding them of the importance of defending freedom of expression.

A democracy like Portugal cannot allow the police or individuals evidently close to the far-right to intimidate a designer who takes a legitimately critical view of police excesses.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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