Portugal’s President apologizes to beaten Nepalese immigrant


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The President of Portugal apologized on Monday to the Nepalese immigrant who was assaulted last January 25 in Olhão, a city on Portugal’s southern coast, considering that “there is no justification” for that act.

“There is no justification for the aggression he was the victim of and I apologized to him for it,” the President told reporters in Olhão after a brief meeting with two immigrants assaulted in recent days, one of them being the one who was attacked on January 25.

The head of state insisted that “there is nothing that justifies this kind of inhuman, anti-democratic, criminal treatment, which cannot be accepted in Portuguese society.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa welcomed the fact that the person in question “already has a taxpayer’s number” and “can already work on a temporary basis,” but warned that “he still has health problems” and has to recover.

“Right now the City Hall [of Olhão] is going to deal with the framework in terms of social action and, on the other hand, he is available to work either in catering or for construction,” said the head of state.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa gave a lecture this morning to the students of Dr. Francisco Fernandes Lopes Secondary School, in Olhão, before the meeting with the assaulted immigrant.

The President of the Republic argued that the Portuguese have “the obligation to better understand” what immigrants feel when they arrive in the country, since Portugal is traditionally a country of emigrants.

“We have an obligation to understand better, because other European countries have no tradition of emigration. How is it that we don’t understand what others feel here?”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asked in a class for high school students, days after the attacks on the Nepalese immigrant by a group of young people in that city were made public.

Accompanying Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the mayor of Olhão, António Miguel Pina, confirmed that the town council will “accompany” this immigrant, namely in the search for a job, after he recovers physically from the aggression he suffered.

On the other hand, António Miguel Pina, was convinced that this was “an isolated case of a group of young people”, and that there was “no perception of insecurity in the municipality” or concern about the existence of “a generalized attitude of repulsion towards immigrants”.

The mayor would also like to know what is going on from the point of view of the mental health of young people.

“As far as we know they are not economically needy, they come from more or less structured families, which leads us to believe that this is a mixture of fun and exaltation of their anger,” said António Miguel Pina, adding that it is “necessary to know what is going on in terms of mental health” of the young aggressors and if there are “more hidden problems.

A group of young people assaulted the Nepalese immigrant on January 25, and the case became known after a video was shared on social networks, where the immigrant appears lying on the ground in a defensive position, trying to protect himself from kicks, punches and blows from the assailants, whose faces are not clearly visible because they are wearing hoods.

The attacks on the immigrant are being investigated by the PSP and the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, said on Saturday that it was identified “a core of people who were in this group that attacked in a barbaric way” the citizen, adding that the PSP is carrying out diligent proceedings in conjunction with the Public Ministry to gather information that allows the perpetrators of the aggression to be held responsible.

The Minister of Internal Administration also said that the PSP has detected “other circumstances equivalent to those that occurred with this young man”, noting that investigations are at an “advanced stage”.

In addition to the repeated assaults, the group also stole the backpack from the victim, who did not press charges, as the victim pleaded with them to stop assaulting him and to return at least the documents he kept in his backpack.

The investigation is also trying to determine how many elements made up the group and what involvement each one had in the crimes committed

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