LISBON (Reuters) - All 18 officers at a Portuguese police station have been charged with torture, kidnapping, falsifying reports and other crimes allegedly motivated by racism following the 2015 arrest of six black youths, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
All the officers served with the Public Security Police patrolling force in Alfragide, a densely populated neighbourhood which includes a slum called Cova da Moura, just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Lisbon.
They were indicted for “torture and other cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment”, unlawful imprisonment, grave abuse of their powers and violation of their duties, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement on its website.
The charges were brought after a joint investigation by prosecutors and the Judicial Police that followed complaints by the families of the six youths, who were cleared of charges of resisting arrest and assault.
Racist violence is rare in western Europe’s poorest country, which attracts fewer immigrants and refugees than richer countries like Spain or France but has large minorities rooted in its African ex-colonies as well as in Brazil and India.
Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Catherine Evans