Wave of indignation as GNR prosecute woman for complaining on Facebook

Faro GNR are going to court over complaints a woman made about them on Facebook. The case follows a fine issued in Fuseta for incorrect parking. The woman paid the fine and claimed the GNR agents took the space minutes later “to go off to eat breakfast”. Venting her frustrations online and calling the GNR corrupt has “offended” district command, which has now lodged a complaint citing the crime of defamation.

Explaining the police point of view, Major Marco Cruz told Diário de Notícias: “It was a damaging comment for the agents involved, but also for the institution. The names used effectively compromise the very values and principles of the GNR.”

But as the story does the rounds on social and online news media – receiving thousands of views – it remains to be seen whether the GNR has shot itself in the foot.

Local blogsite Olhão Livre claims situations where police abuse their powers are “becoming more and more frequent” – and that far from keeping quiet about it, it is a civic duty to denounce them.

More to the point perhaps is the alleged defamatory post made by the upset woman. Aside from the fact that she has now deleted it, will this stand up in court as “a crime of defamation”?

Backed by photographs which clearly show the GNR patrol car in the “illegal” parking space (a space destined only for collections and deliveries), the woman wrote: “This is to show the corruption in this country. They take the bread from the mouth of the poor who work all month in order to live. They drive around taking money for disobeying laws, without giving due example. They are corrupt. This is just corruption.”

Facebookers and others have now ensured that what could have been sorted with a face-to-face discussion is now fast becoming the joke of the day.


Meantime, the GNR have found itself impelled to continue the story, by posting a detailed account of how the agents involved were not eating breakfast at all. Instead, they were “trying to identify the driver of a heavy goods vehicle who had parked in a place reserved for handicapped people”.

In other words, the GNR men were acting “to guarantee the rights of others (handicapped) and not eating breakfast as is referred”.

Adamant that they could “not accept the accusations” levelled against them, the criminal complaint was made to uphold “the good name of the agents involved and the institution” of the GNR.

Unsurprisingly, this latest declaration was shared over 1,760 times and elicited another wave of commentary, both positive and derogatory.

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