Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside the Attorney General’s Office (PGR, Mainland Portugal) yesterday to witness the delivery, by anti-confinement Judge, Rui Fonseca e Castro, a complaint against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Mainland Government for crimes against humanity.
At 4 pm yesterday afternoon, Judge Rui Fonseca e Castro arrived at the PGR to deliver his protestation, as he spearheaded a movement that had started in the Parque Eduardo VII, in Lisbon, with hundreds of people joining the original demonstrators.
Dressed in regulation black jerseys, the demonstrators sang the national anthem, held Portuguese flags or paraded them on their backs, while holding white balloons, posters and banners. One banner, which caught journalists eyes, was seen at the beginning of the first group of protestors to arrive, recalling the words of Captain Abril Salgueiro “There are times when it is necessary to disobey!”
As he prepared to enter the PGR and deliver the complaint, slogans were shouted such as “Liberdade,” “Portugal” and “The united people will never be defeated,” and shouting the judge’s name in encouragement. As soon as he entered the building, the protestors turned against the media shouting ‘Journalixo’ and ‘assassins.’
Showing their defiance and solidarity to the cause, most of the protestors ignored the social distancing and mandatory mask wearing rules, while many of the posters supported popular denial theories with regard to the pandemic.
On leaving the building, the judge refused to make a statement, and returned to his supporters where he was soon engulfed in a plethora of support. However, despite the assertions on Facebook that the demonstration would proceed to the Assembly of the Republic, where a wreath would be laid to lament the fall of democracy in Portugal, this did not go ahead, and as supporters dropped to the wayside, about a 100 people returned to the Eduardo VII park.
Being accused of inciting civil disobedience by publicly disagreeing with the governments stance on containing the pandemic (namely the use of masks and general confinement measures), Judge Rui Fonseca e Castro was suspended in March of this year by the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM). This decision was made as many believed that his anti-pandemic viewpoint had shown him to be “harmful and incompatible with the prestige and dignity of the judicial service.”
In addition, the CSM have started disciplinary proceedings against him, after he published a video stating that the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, was also guilty of human rights violations.
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