Portugal extends inquiry into alleged violence at airport border control

Portugal’s Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, has decided to extend an  investigation into allegations of violence and mistreatment at the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) facilities at Lisbon airport, Lusa news agency reported on Saturday.

The investigation, which was opened on November 30 by the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration (IGAI), will be extended following new reports of alleged violence and ill-treatment, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement.

“The decision is based on complaints reported this Saturday by Diário de Notícias and also by Expresso in its Friday edition”, according to the statement, Lusa reported. 

The inquiry was based on denunciations under the anonymity of a Brazilian citizen, published in the November 28 edition of Diário de Notícias, the statement said. 

Ihor Homeniuk, a Ukranian man detained for trying to enter the country without a valid visa, was allegedly the victim of the violent attacks of three SEF inspectors, accused of murder. The trial of this case will begin on January 20.

After months of backlash over the fatal beating, the head of Portugal’s SEF border service, Cristina Gatões, resigned last week. Former GNR commander-general Luís Francisco Botelho Miguel was appointed as director of SEF on Friday. 

Opposition parties have called for Cabrita to resign too, saying he has failed to adequately investigate this case.