(Lisbon, 22-02-1923 – Lisbon, 21-01-1949)
António Lopes Almeida was born in Lisbon and worked as a glassworker in Marinha Grande, where he resided. A militant of the Portuguese Communist Party and an active local and regional leader, he was also an amateur composer and musician in the group “Os Pinantes”.
After a complaint, he was arrested by the International and State Defence Police (PIDE) in Marinha Grande, on 16 January 1949, for enquiries. From the local post of the National Republican Guard (GNR), he went, on the next day, to the headquarters of the political police, in Lisbon, in Rua António Maria Cardoso, where he was tortured for two days. Reports from other prisoners, who met António Lopes Almeida there, recall that his face was a “mush” of blood and bruises and that he had said: “I have been beaten for 40 hours”. On January 18, he was transferred to the Prison of Aljube, where he died three days later, at the age of 36.
According to the official version of the regime, he had killed himself, by hanging. However, it is plausible that he did not survive the torture suffered in the PIDE headquarters and the Aljube. In the morgue, a tiny note written in blood was found in the pocket of his pyjamas, which read: “I am António Lopes de Almeida, of Marinha Grande, tell my wife.”
Buried in the Benfica Cemetery, in absentia of his family, by the political police and the Civil Government, his body did not return to Marinha Grande until thirty years after his death, in 1979.