PORTUGUESE PRISON HORRORS - A TRIBUTE TO A BLIND EUROPE. |
How a backward country like Portugal which cannot even do its sums properly without EU help, can be held as an example of a modern democracy is difficult to understand. Despite constantly begging for money that appears to go down the drain at each line of support, its human rights level are about as low as they can be even in third world countries. In what can be seen as a racist issue, a high percentage of those languishing in jail are non Portuguese and most on loosely termed drug charges. Aids is rampant and in a Lisbon jail, British subjects wait for years for their case to be heard. At least one of the preventive imprisonment cases is British and over 75 and despite merely being a driver on request by people not similarly charged, sleeps in humid clothes in what can only be called a cavern in the infamous Lisbon Fonteira prison. Another inmate reported to human rights groupings is a 92 year old blind prisoner in the same prison.
A country that calls itself Christian.
Portugal was the offspring of the Order of Christ which kept the country together up to fairly recent history and prided itself in its Christian tradition yet its human rights values are very questionable and its contribution to family welfare just as negligent. It is difficult to understand how Europe can expect to make any changes quickly enough to justify the presence of this country among the highly evolved nations which keep it alive. It applies to few others also and perhaps the time is now to condition its membership to factual, non cosmetic transparency. This mess reflects on Europe and the now well defined blindness that pours money on so called members states without even attaching the supervisory conditions that a modern system - supposedly recruiting personnel of adequate standards of expertise and education, would be expected to apply. The results as can be seen, are economic tatters born of mediocrity with an inexplicable neglect of the average taxpayer . Yet, a massive increase in well connected individuals with overnight high level assets linked to the inflationary monopolies they are usually so closely related to, appears to lie below the line of vision.
Growing political corruption.
It is now being suggested that the high level of political corruption in the lower economic bracket countries is directly related to the enormous funds so loosely thrown about by the insensitive European bureaucracy. Countries well used to camouflage and hidden rods, can be expected to smash and grab whatever happens to lie around unattended but the sorry results are the instabilities which threaten to bring down the whole edifice. It is questionable whether the European Bureaucrats even at the highest levels of the game even understand what has been going on. Recently, the issue threatened to split Europe apart as increased contributions were met with a defiant Britain already having to find margins in its own economic pursuits to prevent further erosion of its own living standards. In fact, the concept “Europa” is now being questioned with respect to its lack of real contribution to the enviable standards and social welfare of the few contributing members like the United Kingdom. For countries like Norway devoid of any real social creasing, it all sounds and looks like a television saga difficult to accept as valid reality. No doubt others further out in the world are rubbing their hands in glee convinced that the idea was stupid in the first instance and that it is just a question of time before it collapses like a house of cards. Hopefully, they will be proved wrong and emergency steps to correct all this filth will be put in place very quickly.
Since this article was written, conditions in Fonteira prison have reached such levels of neglect that the administrators are now going on strike. This is perhaps an attempt to justify years of abuse and cruelty. The strike will probably cause the death of a few of the prisoners through lack of medical assistance and even contrived violence. Food will apparently not be available and in effect, this act of defiance by the prison authorities can be interpreted as a further punishment for the now terrified inmates.
A delegation from the Court of Human Rights has now finally made its way in and perhaps the Portuguese people will now realize what is being done in their name. A Ministry official blames the Judges for crowding the prisons and in fact it is difficult to understand why a great many people on drug related charges have been jailed when Portuguese law dictates suspended sentences in most cases. It can only be assumed that the Judges are being told what to do or are driven by racist sentiments.
Europe is doomed to failure for as long as it pretends to be governing and not merely act as a representative body designed to air the problems of its individual members. In that respect it has failed to do anything other than produce continuous legislation on matters like safety and hygiene which has been utilized by the less scrupulous for extortion and indirect taxes. Some European countries are being dragged backwards by the weight of those, like Portugal, which simply mop up funds for indiscriminate and often delincuent abuse. In most of these cases, real issues are ignored for the sake of monuments to vanity which lie forlorn and unproductive whilst family standards and public institutions deteriorate.
Since this was written some years ago Portugal has made no progress in the care of prisoners and continues to violate human rights at a level very rarely found elsewhere. The Judicial system continues to jail incessantly and packs them in these filthy quarters to the point of involuntary homicide. Europe, as usual just looks on.
Michael Mifsud started his journalistic career in the House of Commons - London at the age of 16. He has written extensively for the Commonwealth and now for internet editorials. He published Britain´s first Trade Journal for Drivers and created whole industries from his initial pioneering projects. He travelled extensively with the British Royals as a camp follower journalist on foreign tours and as a member of the Commonwealth Press Union met most of the leaders of the day. His interests are many but he is an ardent defender of animal rights and civil liberties.
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