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Roma people 43 times more likely to be killed by police


Alberto Frias | Agência Lusa

A person of Roma ethnicity is 43 times more likely to be killed by the police than a non-Roma person, while a black person is 21 times more likely than a non-black person, according to a report published in PÚBLICO citing the doctoral thesis of anthropologist Ana Rita Alves at the University of Coimbra.


Her study highlights the racial discrimination by the portuguese police, indicating that 36% of deaths resulting from police interventions between 1996 and 2020 were of non-white individuals.


"The portrait I paint is the best possible. What colleagues have done, and what I did regarding the black population, is a 'proxy' between nationality and race," emphasized the researcher, who systematically collected data from reports by the IGAI (General Inspection of Internal Administration) and deaths recorded in the archives of the activist organization 'SOS Racismo'.


According to the 2001 Census, there was 0.4% of the population of Roma origin in Portugal, while 0.9% was black.


Between 1996 and 2020, according to the IGAI (General Inspection of Internal Administration), there were 3,989 cases of offenses against physical integrity, 127 injuries caused by firearms, and 70 deaths caused by the police, of which 19% involved black individuals and 17% involved the Roma population, totaling 36% of the total.


The organization 'SOS Racismo' has recorded 364 incidents, with 107 involving black individuals, 36 involving Roma/Roam individuals, 26 involving non-black migrants, and 38 involving white individuals—there is no specific information for 157 cases. Nearly half of the incidents involve Roma and black individuals: out of 46 shootings, there were 7 involving Roma and 10 involving black individuals, accounting for 15% and 22% respectively. Regarding assaults, 78 involved black individuals and 16 involved Roma individuals, representing 32% and 7% respectively.


Lisbon is the district with the highest number of cases, with 8 deaths at the hands of the police between 1992 and 2013. There were records of 9 shootings—one in Cova da Moura, four in Fontainhas, and three in Bairro 6 de Maio. There were 34 assaults, 18 involving black individuals and one involving a Roma individual.

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