Monday, 25 June 2007

Sky News: Gangs selling children at public auctions in supermarket car-parks in Portugal

Madeleine’s abduction “may be linked to a trafficking network that sees children put on the market for £7,000, detectives have said” - according to Sky News. “Eastern European gangs are holding auctions in supermarket car-parks in Portugal and France. Officers in France have released details of the trade, as they believe it may be related to the four-year-old's disappearance, a Sky source said. In one case, the mother of a baby boy was arrested for attempting to sell her baby North of Lisbon.”

Editor's Note (1): Sky News makes (again...) a MANIPULATION OF ONE SINGLE CASE, publishing FACTS THAT ARE FAKE, MISLEADING AND DISTORTED, at least IN WHAT CONCERNS TO PORTUGAL Let's take a look of what really happened, in the case referred by Sky News, “the mother of a baby boy that was arrested for attempting to sell her baby North of Lisbon.”

1 - A couple of Romanian gypsies, currently living in Guimarães, North of Portugal, was accused, by local residents of Sousel, a small city in Alentejo, South of Portugal, of trying to sell his three months old baby. They knocked at several doors, in Sousel, and asked the residents if they wanted to buy the baby. Cecília Guimarães, a woman of 34 years to who the Romanian couple offered the baby, told the mother to give the child to an institution, as “the baby was crying from hunger”. The mother refused and went away.

Cecília Guimarães went immediately to Police and filled a report about the case. She told Diário de Notícias that the mother didn't asked for a specific amount of money, she just wanted to sell the baby. Few minutes after, GNR (Portuguese rural police) detained the Romanian couple. The baby showed signals of being undernourished and dehydrated, so the local “Child Protection Commission” (a Government body with legal authority to act in any situation of endangered children) gave orders to GNR to send the baby to Paediatric Section of Portalegre Hospital, where she was recovering well. The parents, 20 and 35 years old, will be submitted to a court hearing today.

(May 25, 2007 – Diário de Notícias, in Portuguese – This link has the story translated to English, with the help of Google. It's not a perfect English translation, but is good enough to understand clearly the facts)

2 – Mr. Adam Boulton, Mr. Tim Marshall and Mr. Michael Wilson, Editors of Sky News: What do you intend to do, after seeing this evidence that your story is a MANIPULATION OF ONE SINGLE CASE, and the FACTS ARE FAKE, MISLEADING AND DISTORTED, at least in what concerns to the reference to Portugal?

Editor's Note (2): A little help from my readers in UK: Is there any organization or institution, in UK, with which I can file a complaint about this serious breach of ethics and violation of the most basic journalistic rules, from a TV news channel? Could it be the Broadcast Authority? I filed a complaint against Daily Mail, with the Press Commission Complaints, and the Assistant-Editor of Daily Mail, Charles A. Garside, answered to PCC, which forwarded his letter to me, asking if I agreed to resolve the complaint in an amicable way. Mr. Charles A. Garside assured me that Daily Mail has “drawn the error in to the attention of the Sub Editor concerned and have already corrected the headline”, which had, in his own words, “a potentially misleading point”. I accepted the explanation and considered the complaint resolved.

But PCC informed me that they have no competence to deal with what is published in a web site from a TV news organization. Can somebody help me finding who has the authority to act in these cases?

Thank you

Paulo Reis