Portugal immigration chief quits after Lisbon airport death

December 9, 2020 GMT

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s immigration chief quit Wednesday after an outcry over the death of a Ukrainian man suspected of being tortured by officials before dying in custody at Lisbon airport.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that Cristina Gatões had tendered her resignation, which was accepted with immediate effect.

The Ukrainian man tried to enter Portugal without a visa last March and was detained by immigration inspectors. Two days later he was found dead in his holding cell.

The public prosecutor has charged three inspectors with manslaughter.

Gatões said last month that investigations had found that the Ukrainian’s treatment at the airport had led to is death.


“I’m pretty certain that what we are looking at is a case of torture,” she told public broadcaster RTP.

The government says it plans to restructure the immigration service and install panic buttons in airport holding cells.