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      The (In)visibility of Racialized Border Violence? A Ukrainian Killed in Lisbon Airport



            On March 12, 2020, the Ukrainian citizen Ihor Homenyuk died, having been abused and tortured while in the custody of the Foreigners and Borders Office in Lisbon airport. This crime exposed what several NGOs and institutional reports had long denounced: the climate of impunity that enabled the denial of basic human rights to immigrants in closed spaces at the Portuguese border. Understanding the media as a pivotal place of both reflection and production of social meaning, this article examines the media coverage of this case and identifies the narratives that the case fuelled and the agendas by which it was co-opted. It explores how the public invisibility of violence at Portugal’s borders, Portuguese imaginaries regarding Eastern European immigrants, and current understandings of racism helped frame the case as one of police brutality rather than as a racist crime. We aim to highlight the role of the Schengen border in the reconfiguration of racialized vulnerability and the (re)production of global hierarchies.


            Author and article information

            State Crime Journal
            Pluto Journals
            18 June 2022
            : 11
            : 1
            : 90-109
            Author notes

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Page count
            Pages: 20

            state violence,Portugal,borders,Schengen,Eastern European immigrants


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