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The director of the PSP convinced that “there is no structural racism” at the PSP

“I have been a police officer for 37 years, I am convinced that there is no structural racism. The overwhelming majority of police officers are neither racist nor extremist,” Manuel Magina da Silva told the parliamentary committee for constitutional affairs, rights, freedoms and guarantees, where he was heard on the alleged involvement of members of the PSP and GNR in practices that violate the rule of law, including the dissemination of racist messages.

During the hearing, requested by the PCP, BE, PAN and Livre, the director of the PSP declared that he continues to "believe convincingly that there is no structural racism in the security forces, regardless of the number of police officers involved”. in this controversy.

Magina da Silva also argued that the police do not "want to know politics", being "non-partisan and exempt".

“We are at the service of citizens and democracy, not just any party,” he stressed.

The director of the PSP underlined that "much has been done" in the areas of training and prevention, the police having modified the psychological assessment test with a new scenario and the selection interview has started to discuss questions related to human rights, such as racism.

“But make no mistake, there is no perfect selection process, nor training process to guarantee that these problems will not happen again. We must do a maximum of prevention, but we must admit that there may be police officers who will have deviant behavior, ”he said.

Magina da Silva also said that one must be "aware that deviant cases can always occur, which must be identified, investigated and punished".

The parliamentary hearing comes after a report by a Portuguese investigative journalism consortium, which includes journalists, lawyers and academics, reported that nearly 600 mostly active PSP and GNR members use social networks to violate the law by writing racist and hateful messages.

After the publication of the journalistic work, the Government announced that the General Inspectorate of Interior Administration (IGAI) will open an investigation into this affair of publications on social networks, by agents of the security forces, who allegedly incited to hatred and violence.

The Attorney General's office also announced that it had opened an investigation into these publications.

"If there are enough clues to identify the perpetrators and characterize the degree of culpability, it will be up to the IGAI to apply the preventive suspension of functions provided for by the statute of the PSP", he said, evoking that this case did not jeopardize the confidence that citizens have in the PSP.

Members of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees also heard throughout the afternoon today from the Minister of Internal Administration, the Inspector General of Administration Interior and the General Commander of the GNR regarding the allegedly racist and xenophobic messages placed in the social networks by elements of the PSP and the GNR.

CMP // RBF

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