This State Department report, which covers Portugal as well as nearly 200 states, was presented on by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
It reads that “there are credible reports” according to which “members of the security forces commit some abuses”.
Among these are the “excessive use of force” by the police and “maltreatment and other forms of abuse by prison guards”.
The document also notes that some reports mention “conditions in detention centres that raise human rights concerns” of detainees.
From the outset, it was detailed, in physical terms, “several prisons are overcrowded, inadequate, have poor sanitary conditions and there is violence among detainees”.
Information to Russia
Another point that was highlighted in the analysis was the delivery to the Russian embassy, by the municipal authorities of Lisbon, of personal information about the dissidents who organised a protest in front of the diplomatic representation. “Lisbon officials apologised, after significant public outrage, and declared that they were going to end this practice,” he added.
The State Department text also detailed some significant human rights issues, which include “credible reports of crimes involving threats of violence against members of racial/ethnic minorities”.
The text mentioned the situation in human trafficking for economic exploitation.
In this regard, he contrasted the legislation that prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labour with the weakness of penalties.
“Civil society points out the need to reinforce the monitoring and regulation of recruitment and temporary employment agencies”, in particular those oriented towards recruitment for agriculture, construction and domestic service.
After pointing out the origin of the victims of this trafficking, in particular from India, Pakistan, Asia, Moldova, Romania, Eastern Europe, West Africa and Brazil, the State Department considered that “government resources to prevent forced labour, including inspections and law enforcement, remain inadequate”.
The Observatory of Trafficking in Human Beings is cited in the complaint that the exploitation of trafficked foreign workers occurs mainly in agriculture, construction and domestic service, while the Portuguese victims are more in catering, agriculture and domestic service.
The specific case of Odemira is also mentioned, with reference to news about clandestine immigration networks and slave labour.
The document is available at https://www.state.gov/reports/2021-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/