PSP police have announced a criminal complaint against Público newspaper for an illustration it carried on the front page of its satirical supplement “Inimigo Público” (Public Enemy).
The cartoon, created by Nuno Saraiva, shows a person dressed in a PSP uniform joining masked demonstrators holding flaming torches.
It clearly alludes to the ‘Klu Klux Klan’ type protest held last Saturday in front of the Lisbon headquarters of SOS Racismo.
Since then the tide of far-right/ far-left acrimony has been rising – to the point that ‘internet threats’ purportedly made against various MPs and activists are now being investigated.
It could be that the MPs receive police protection.
President Marcelo has tried to calm the rising hullabaloo (click here), but it appears to be persisting.
Said the PSP in a press statement today: “This cartoon explicitly associates the PSP to an ideological political movement, publicly affecting the absence of partisanship that characterises our institution”.
“The PSP laments the levity with which the newspaper and the cartoon damage the good image of the institution and the police officers that serve within it protecting their fellow citizens”.
Rejection of extremism and discrimination are “fundamental ethical values” of the force, which says that as such the cartoon “offends the credibility, prestige and confidence” that should be placed in the PSP, and therefore ‘substantiates a crime’.
Inimigo Público’s front page was clearly risqué: the overall message read “André Ventura against death penalty as dead cannot be castrated” (referring to parliament’s only right-wing MP who himself consistently affirms ‘there is no racism in Portugal’ and that all the fuss is being whipped up by the far-left.
All in all, the August ‘silly season’ for news is getting rather overheated – and there are two weeks still left to go before the month is over.