Gouveia e Melo now has personal security. Denial protesters insult journalists

Tiago Petinga / Lusa

After being booed by a group of denial protesters, on August 14, Henrique Gouveia e Melo, coordinator of task force for vaccination against covid-19 in Portugal, it now has personal security.

After the incident, which took place on the 14th at a vaccination center in Odivelas, the Public Security Police (PSP) reassessed the degree of risk to which Henrique Gouveia e Melo was subject and attributed a undercover security team, consisting of two to three elements.

Not even the coordinator of task force for vaccination, not even the PSP’s national spokesperson wanted to make statements to the Público newspaper.

On Saturday, the vice admiral was received by about two dozen anti-vaccine protesters, who were contesting the ongoing vaccination action at the site. Indifferent to the protests, Gouveia e Melo did not avoid contact with the protesters and went to the entrance to the pavilion.

There was then a moment of some tension, with protesters calling “murderer, murderer” to the Vice Admiral. In response to the protests, the coordinator of task force of vaccination considered that “denialism and obscurantism are the real killers”. “More than 18,000 people died as a result of this pandemic.”

The daily also mentions that, this Wednesday, anti-vaccine activists once again resorted to aggressiveness to try to assert their points of view.

In a demonstration led by Judge Rui Fonseca e Castro -, which culminated in the delivery to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of a report against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Government for crimes against humanity -, the journalists present at the event’s coverage were insulted.

Público also adds that some protesters had to be “restrained” for verbal attacks do not escalate for bodily harm.

Dressed in black shirts requested by the organization of the event, under the responsibility of the association Habeas corpus, the demonstrators sang the national anthem, held up Portuguese flags or held them up behind their backs, still holding white balloons and some posters.

A banner in front of the group, coming from Parque Eduardo VII, recalled the captain of Abril Salgueiro Maia, with the quote: “There are times when you need to disobey“.

the incitement to civil disobedience against the confinement measures imposed to fight the covid-19 pandemic is at the origin of the suspension of the functions of judge Rui Fonseca e Castro in March, by the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM).

As the judge prepared to enter the PGR and deliver the complaint, slogans were shouted such as “Liberdade”, “Portugal” and “The united people will never be defeated”, in addition to the national anthem and incentives for judge, shouting your name.

After Rui Fonseca e Castro entered the PGR building, the slogans of the protesters turned against the media present, with shouts of “newspaper” e “Murderers“.

Concentrated next to the containment bays placed by the PSP, without distance and with few masks in use, some protesters displayed posters where they exposed some denial theories of the pandemic, others told the agents who carried out surveillance that they were also there for their protection.

Upon leaving the PGR, the judge refused to give statements to the media, returning to the protesters, who quickly surrounded him and congratulated him.

The demonstration should have followed later, according to what was announced at the public event published in the Facebook, for the Assembly of the Republic, where the intention was to deposit “a wreath of flowers as a sign of mourning for democracy in Portugal”, but the protest ended up returning to Parque Eduardo VII, already with a visible demobilization, with only about a hundred of the number of people who arrived at the Lisbon park.

In March 2021, the CSM preventively suspended Judge Rui Fonseca e Castro, from the Court of Odemira, who became known for denial statements about the use of masks and confinement in the scope of the covid-19 pandemic.

In the decision of the CSM, to which Lusa then had access, it is said that the judge, who has publicly expressed denial positions in relation to the pandemic, had a conduct that “shows harmful and incompatible with the prestige and dignity of the judicial function”. In addition to the preventive suspension, the CSM decided to open disciplinary proceedings against the magistrate.

Rui Fonseca e Castro, who practiced law before re-entering the magistracy, belonged to the group “lawyers for the truth” and now expresses his opinions on a page of Facebook named Habeas corpus.

For the CSM, the denial positions on the covid-19 pandemic presented by the judge are “supported by conspiracy theories”.

At the end of July, the CSM admitted opening a new disciplinary process to judge Rui Fonseca e Castro, after he published a video with statements about the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, which he considered “an attack on his honour”.