Freedom of expression questioned
In principle, freedom of expression in free societies is a fine thing. But how free are we really?
Posted by Len Port
( Liberdade de expressão ? Perseguição,censura total, silenciado, amigos perseguidos, isolamento, sim!)
Back in Portugal, the McCanns v Amaral action for defamation was postponed yet again last week.
The parents of Madeleine McCann insist Gonçalo Amaral libelled them in his book A Verdade da Mentira (the Truth of the Lie).
Plenty of people, especially in this country, believe Amaral was within his moral and legal rights to publish his opinions on the investigation he once co-ordinated.
Plenty of people, particularly in the UK, believe Amaral’s actions have been criminally reprehensible, even though the ban on his book has been lifted.
The Portuguese constitution declares: “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.”
So why is Amaral, who is said to be ill and broke, facing a claim for well over a million euros in damages?