Portugal before the Human Rights Committee: summary of Amnesty International's Concerns
On 21 July 2003 the United Nations Human Rights Committee (the HRC) considered Portugal's third periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). On that occasion, Amnesty International brought to the attention of the HRC the organization's concerns about reports of serious human rights violations in the country received in recent years. This document summarizes the organization's concerns and includes information which emerged at the public session of the HRC. The document is also based on information gathered by Amnesty International during a research mission to Portugal in December 2002, and focuses on concerns which came to Amnesty International's attention between January 2000 and March 2003. These concerns include: fatal police shootings reportedly as a result of unlawful use of force: deaths in disputed circumstances in police and prison custody: continuing reports of ill-treatment, including excessive use of force and racial abuse by police and prison officers: conditions amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in numerous prison establishments. The report also puts forward a list of Amnesty International's recommendations to the Portuguese government with a view to addressing the above-mentioned concerns.