PORTUGAL: Anti-Racism Activist Mamadou Ba fined for defamation case

Extract of article by Ojjaswini Gupta, published by Jurist.org on 22/10/2023 – accessible here.

A Lisbon, Portugal court issued a verdict on Friday that directed Mamadou Ba, a prominent advocate against racism in Portugal, to pay a significant fine of 2,400 euros, as reported by local media. The judgment found Ba guilty of defaming Mario Machado, a well-known neo-Nazi activist in the country.

In his social media posts, Ba accused Mario Machado, the founder of various far-right movements in Portugal, of being involved in the murder of Alcindo Monteiro. Notably, Machado was not among those convicted in the 1997 trial related to Monteiro’s murder, despite having a criminal record for racial discrimination and other.

Machado’s well-documented history of using social media to spread racial animosity and serving jail terms has sparked a more extensive legal discussion regarding systemic racism in Portugal.

SOS Racismo, the organization to which Ba is affiliated, contends that the judicial system is making efforts to stifle voices advocating for democratic and anti-racist principles.