Two sons of Iraq’s ambassador to Portugal were released from jail Thursday, despite allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old boy who is now in a coma fighting for his life.
The sons of the ambassador got in an altercation with the boy outside a bar, reports Lisbon-based newspaper Diario de Noticias (DN). Garbage workers later found the boy lifeless, and he was transported to the hospital in a helicopter.
The boy suffered serious injuries to his head and has been placed in an artificial coma. He has also undergone reconstructive surgery to his face as a result of the injuries, DN reports. The two sons hold diplomatic passports, which forced police to release the suspects.
Family members of diplomatic agents enjoy the same privileges and immunities as their sponsoring agents, in accordance with international law. The only way for Portugal to prosecute the boys is if Iraq waives their immunity.
A representative for Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told newspaper Expresso that one option is to declare the ambassador a “persona non grata,” which would force him and his family to leave the country.
One of the sons was expelled from his Portuguese school, which called the actions “intolerable and damaging” for the institution.
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