Police in Portugal and Greece are liaising over Afghan Abdul Bashir who is now suspected of having killed not two but three women. Image: António Cotrim/ EPA/ Lusa

Ismaili Centre attacker “investigated over death of wife in refugee camp”

Afghan “suspected of killing wife in Greece”, says tabloid

Five days on from the brutal murder of two women in Lisbon by an Afghan refugee described as suffering a psychotic episode, it now appears that Abdul Bashir may have been responsible for his wife’s death in a fire in Greece in 2019.

This is the gist of a story carried by tabloid Correio da Manhã, which says police in Greece are still investigating the possibility that Bashir “may have been involved in the death of his wife” to the point that last week’s horror could equate to the actions of a “serial killer”.

Expresso also has covered Bashir’s story, affirming not only that he left his home in Odivelas last Tuesday “with the intention of killing” at the Ismaili centre – but that the cause of the fire that killed his wife “has never been fully established”.

Expresso does not suggest the fire was started deliberately; neither does Correio da Manhã – though the latter says Bashir saved his three children, but “never gave the alert about the presence of his wife in the house” that was ablaze.

Firemen simply came upon the body when they managed to put the fire out.

The consequences of last week’s killings have already seen right-wing party CHEGA propose a “topical debate on immigration, security and terrorism“, while the Portuguese refugee council has stressed it is “imperative” that “situations of racism and xenophobia” do not follow.

CHEGA’s reasons for proposing the debate go beyond the violence of last Tuesday. Party leader André Ventura says they have to do with “recent changes to immigration legislation that have been made by the government. We do not want to link the debate (…)  exclusively to this case (…) we have had a series of episodes in recent months of scenarios and cases that show that the dismantling of the immigration and borders service, SEF, the automatic residence permits assigned by legislation and the excessive flexibility of entry into the country have led to very serious problems in consulates, serious security problems and serious immigration problems”.

Coincidentally, data released yesterday by INE (statistics institute) shows that for the third year running Portugal’s population has increased, thanks wholly to the arrival of immigrants.

If it wasn’t for the influx (97,119 immigrants arrived in Portugal in 2021, compared to 25,079 citizens who left), the country would have had a negative balance of -45,220 citizens – due to 124,802 deaths and only 79,582 births.

Immigration sustains the increase in population in Portugal”, writes Correio da Manhã, which explains the country’s population grew by 0.26% in 2021, taking the number of inhabitants to 10,421,117.

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