On the 9th of September, 2009, Portugal and the World learned, through the media, about an extremely serious occurrence in this country that fought so hard for Democracy: an act of censorship against a book.
The book “Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira” was subject to an injunction that sought not only the suspension of sales of the book and the DVD that was based on it, but also of any and all divulgation of the thesis that is defended by Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, author of the book and former Judiciary Police coordinator, about the ‘Madeleine McCann’ case.
Through this action, a ban was imposed not merely on the written work, but on an entire line of thought: the expression of an opinion, based on the facts of a police investigation; a rational, responsible, mature decision.
Nonetheless, said injunction was merely the tip of an iceberg. In the main action that it refers to, Madeleine’s parents seek to extort the sum of 1.2 million Euros from Dr. Gonçalo Amaral – an astronomical amount that is out of any proportion, both legal, and ethical.
A second injunction succeeded in apprehending belongings and professional income from the defendant, stifling his capacity to respond in financial terms, given the fact that judicial and process costs are indexed to the value that is demanded through the main action. In this manner, stripped of his freedom of expression and economically asphyxiated, the siege on a Man who, at huge personal and family cost, seeks nothing more than the reopening of a judicial process, in order to conclude an investigation that so many consider has been cut off halfway through, closes in.
Dr. Gonçalo Amaral cannot speak. But we, Citizens of the World, can speak for him.
We can speak, and we can act.
We can act to defend freedom of expression, a constitutional right that we see as inalienable, mainly when it is exercised in a responsible, mature manner.
We can act to support a Man who is deprived of the means to legally defend himself, following deliberate manoeuvres from those who seek his personal and professional destruction.
We can act because today, the victim of censorship’s gag is Dr. Gonçalo Amaral – tomorrow it can be any one of us.
This Project seeks action and support for a Man who wants Justice. The Citizens that initiate this movement associate in a free, independent and apolitical form, united in the defence of freedom of expression, and in mutual respect.
Our first action is the launch of a petition; other initiatives will follow.
For the exercise of free, firm and responsible citizenship, we will not be silenced.
Read more here, and sign the Petition.
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Portuguese Citizens and Foreign Citizens residing in Portugal please sign this petition instead.