1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Justice and Democracy

by Gonçalo Amaral

Portugal finds itself at a crossroads, trying to find back to the path that respects the principle of separation of powers that was put at stake by means of the action of some politicians and by systematic violations of the judicial secrecy.

Stereotypes are created, image is cultivated and there are attempts to carry out justice on the public square. Communication agencies are hired to influence opinions and attitudes, abusing an open society with a free press.

Freedom of expression, an enemy of the limitation of criminal investigations and of the manipulation of public opinion, is being tightened by unconstitutional decisions, of judicial or corporative origin.

A fight is carried out, for political ethics and the defence of the right to information, in the vain hope of recuing the democratic regime, which cannot exist only during electoral periods.

I recall the words of Mário Soares, in 1974: “The 25th of April [Revolution] was done under the sign of total freedom of information and of expression, a conquest that we wish to be definitive and that we will not resign to allow being perverted under any pretext whatsoever.”

Will the judicial secrecy have to cede in face of total freedom of expression and of information? It is urgent to answer this question.

in: Correio da Manhã, 21.11.2009


  1. It is not only Portugal which finds itself at a crossroad!
    The "World Power Group" is conveniently forgetting the 2 basic principles of democracy for which people have died: equality and freedom. These principles are reflected by all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to power.After all "democracy" means *Power to the People*.
    Yes it is urgent ,the governements revise the basis of their constitutions as freedom of political expression, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential so that the citizens are informed and able to vote in their personal interests,to achieve this,one factor is essential and as equally important and necessary as to freedom of speech: the right of access to information, a basic humn right.
    Food for thoughts today Joana.....

  2. Very true what Gonçalo Amaral said. His words can be summed-up in one word and it spells C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N! Fight corruption - and I mean, really fight this crime not only verbally - and you will get back what you longing for: Freedom of expression. In a real democracy where the constitution is taken seriously, an injunction in clear violation of Art. 37 of the Portuguese Constitution, as issued against Gonçalo Amaral, his publiher Guerra & Paz and others in September would be utterly impossible. In a real democracy the responsible judge would be fired on the spot! However, as long as the Portuguese keep their corrupt political elite in power and office there will be be no change whatsoever. These people, beginning at the top with PM Sócrates whos involvement is evident in various cases of corruption of which the Freeport case is intimately linked to the Maddie case, enabling the British PM Gordon Brown to put pressure on Sócrates to have Amaral removed from the case, which is called blackmail, have already decided to sacrifice Amaral in order to save their own butt. But, rest assured, that is not going to happen. Before Gonçalo goes down all these crooks will either resign voluntarily or will be forced out of office and justice will prevail. The time for the McCanns is almost up. They have reached the end of the flag pole and very soon they will get what they deserved from the very beginning - jailtime, and their intimate buddies, the Tapas gang is going to join them together with many other people involved!

  3. Goncalo Amaral is summing up what is happening exactly.

    Interference and manipulation are the name of the game.

    It is a disgrace.

  4. Mr Amaral you and your family are in my prayers daily, you have lots of people in the UK behind you, I respect you very much God Bless and be with you and all who fight for the truth for this innocent child. The Lie that stated in May 2007 has now grown into a very serious crime they who stated this lie have to be punished every one of them.

  5. The political involvement has been obvious from day one. Not just from the British but the Portuguese too.
    I believe that when both of the present governments are out of power this case will be allowed to be solved and justice will prevail.
    I truly cannot wait to see the McCanns behind bars.

  6. The UK elections are May 2010 what will the Maccanns do when their friend Gordon is booted out, when are the elections in Portugal

  7. Government should protect individual rights, but governments have sometimes been violators of these rights, so safeguards are needed. The Separation of Powers is one such safeguard.

    When a single person or group has too much power, they can become dangerous to individuals. The Separation of Powers is a method of limiting the power in any group's hands, making it harder to abuse.

    The USA has a partial Separation of Powers. It has three groups. The Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. The Legislative branch has the ability to pass laws. The Executive branch has the power to enforce those laws. The Judicial branch has the power to decide the guilt of a party, allowing punishment.

    The Separation of Powers allows no group to have more than one of these powers. Only through the combined use of all three can the government act. The cooperation of all three branches is needed.

    Corruption allows undue influence to occur between groups whose functions should remain separate, such as where a Prime Minister influences a judicial process.


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