25 Oct 2019
Chile: IRCT condemns human rights breaches in Santiago

IRCT is profoundly concerned about reliable reports of torture, ill-treatment and denial of basic human rights in connection with the protests in Santiago. IRCT calls on the Chilean government to ensure that all human rights are protected, that all allegations of torture and mistreatment are investigated and that victims get full reparation. The Chilean government must ensure that health-and rehabilitation services for victims of torture are readily provided and accessible to all.

Chile: IRCT condemns human rights breaches in Santiago

Protests in Santiago, Chile, October 2019. Photo by Patricio Suazo.

Current reports and images show how people are being subjected to mistreatment and torture in detention. Detainees are being kept without basic safeguards, such as the right to access to lawyers and are exposed to excessive force and torture by armed forces and detention guards.The impact that mistreatment and torture can have on its victims is severe and can lead to physical and psychological damage lasting for decades and which affects several generations. Many victims of torture suffer from chronic physical pain years after their abuse and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, withdrawal and self-isolation. The most frequent psychiatric diagnoses are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression.

Protests in Santiago, October 2019. Photo by Patricio Suazo.Protests in Santiago, Chile, October 2019. Photo by Patricio Suazo.

These atrocities and acts of torture can also have a re-traumatising effect on victims of the military dictatorship (1973-1990), during which the regime systematically suppressed Chileans and tortured tens of thousands of prisoners.

“Given our members´ long experience and work rehabilitating torture victims from the Pinochet dictatorship, IRCT is extremely worried about the current escalation of violence in Chile and the potential for re-traumatisation of significant numbers of people. IRCT calls upon the government of Chile to stop the violence, to respect human rights and rule of law and to provide support for the victims of the torture and violence.” says Lisa Henry, Secretary-General of IRCT. 

Effective investigation into mistreatment and torture, prosecution of perpetrators and full rehabilitation services to all victims of torture are essential to ensure respect for human rights.

Background of the conflict:

A state of emergency has been declared after October 18 when thousands of Chileans took to the streets of Santiago with grievances over the cost of living, specifically the cost of healthcare, education and public services.



For more information

The IRCT member, CINTRAS, works in Santiago, Chile.

For more information: http://www.cintras.org/ 

"Given our members´ long experience and work rehabilitating torture victims from the Pinochet dictatorship, IRCT is extremely worried about the current escalation of violence in Chile and the potential for re-traumatisation of significant numbers of people. IRCT calls upon the government of Chile to stop the violence, to respect human rights and rule of law and to provide support for the victims of the torture and violence.”

-Lisa Henry, Secretary-General

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