The Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, announced this Thursday that he had asked for an audit on the holding of demonstrations in the municipality in recent years, following the improper sharing of data by Russian activists.
Speaking to RTP this Thursday, Fernando Medina said he asked for an audit of “all procedures adopted in all demonstrations that happened back”, that is, in recent years and until last April, when the procedure for holding protests has been revised.
The newspapers Expresso and Observador reported on Wednesday that Lisbon City Council sent the names, addresses and contact details of three Russian activists to the Russian authorities who had organized a protest in January in front of the Russian embassy in Lisbon for the release of Alexey Navalny, opponent of the Russian Government.
At a press conference this morning, Fernando Medina admitted that the sharing of personal data was done of the three activists, he asked for “public apologies” and assumed it was “an unfortunate mistake that could not have happened”.
Russian activists, whose data were shared, announced that will file a complaint in court against the city council.
At the end of the day, Fernando Medina explained on RTP that the audit will be carried out on all the demonstrations that have taken place in the capital, at least since 2011, the year in which there was a legislative change with the end of civil governments, which made some transfers to local authorities. competences on holding demonstrations.
Medina also said that the City Council had received complaints in April and agreed with the three Russian activists, but that he only learned “a few days ago” of the case from the media.
At the press conference, Fernando Medina explained that the sharing of data resulted from “a bureaucratic operation” of the autarchy on holding demonstrations, however already changed in April: The promoters of any demonstration must communicate it to the chamber within 48 hours before the date, indicating the place, time and data of the organizer.
These data are shared with the PSP, the Ministry of Internal Administration and “the entities where the demonstration will take place”, explained Fernando Medina. In this case, the entity was the Russian embassy in Lisbon.
This is where the camera’s error occurs, as this information could not have been transmitted in this case”, said.
The case sparked a wave of criticism and requests for clarification from Amnesty International and political parties, including the PSD, CDS-PP, Left Block, PCP, Liberal Initiative, Livre and Volt Portugal.
On the sidelines of the commemorations of the Day of Camões, of Portugal and of the Portuguese Communities, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, told reporters that data sharing was regrettable.
It is really regrettable that this has happened, and I understand the apology of the mayor of Lisbon. What he said is, in the end, what all those responsible feel, that it shouldn’t have happened, it shouldn’t have happened and we hope that it won’t happen again”, considered.
Carlos Coins, the PSD candidate for the Lisbon Chamber, asked for the resignation of Fernando Medina and the Aliança party said it would report the case to the Attorney General’s Office.
To RTP, Fernando Medina again devalued the resignations, calling them a “delusion of political opportunism”: “We are in a political time in which political use is very evident”.
The National Data Protection Commission confirmed this Thursday that opened an investigation process the sharing of personal data of the three Russian activists.