UN human rights report cites ‘multiple root causes’ of deadly Chile protests

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) In a new report, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that demonstrations in Chile were deeply rooted in grievances related to inequality and non-discriminatory access to human rights.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


During the recent mass protests which led Chile to declare a state of emergency, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report published on Friday that international human rights norms had been violated by both police and army personnel, which should be prosecuted.

The 30-page report based on research during the first three weeks of November, extensively details multiple allegations, including torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police against people held in detention.

The leader of the UN mission, Imma Guerras-Delgado, told journalists in Geneva, that the overall management of demonstrations by the police “was carried out in a fundamentally repressive manner.”

When a student protest in October over subway prices turned into a nationwide movement against the Government, peaceful demonstrations swept across the country.

Although the great majority of detainees have now been released, official figures revealed that more than 28,000 people were jailed between 18 October and 6 December – many arbitrarily.

The research team conducted 235 interviews with victims and 60 others with police officers, including some of those injured during the protests.

“The police have regularly failed to distinguish between people demonstrating peacefully and violent protesters”, the report said.

Moreover, it documented 113 specific cases of torture and ill-treatment, and 24 cases of sexual violence against women, men and adolescent girls and boys, perpetrated by members of the police and army, while noting that the National Human Rights Institution had filed criminal complaints relating to hundreds of other such cases.

Citing the Ministry of Justice figures, the OHCHR report revealed that up to 10 December, nearly 5,000 people were injured, including nearly 2,800 police officers, but noted other sources had indicated higher number had suffered injuries.

Citing some 350 people with injuries to their eyes or faces, the report said that “alarmingly high number…provides a strong basis to believe that ‘less-lethal weapons’ have been used improperly and indiscriminately, against international principles on minimizing the risk of injury.”

It noted that while eye injuries mainly resulted from shotgun pellets, some cases were “due to the use of chemical irritants, in particular tear gas and, in some instances, from impacts from tear gas canisters.”

Pointing out that the authorities “had information regarding the extent of the injuries as early as 22 October”, the report maintained that those responsible failed to adopt timely measures to stop the use of less-lethal weapons.

“Prompt action by the relevant authorities could have prevented other people suffering serious injuries”, it spelled out.

Recommendations

“Immediately end the indiscriminate use of anti-riot shotguns to control demonstrations”, was one of the recommendations the report made to the Chilean State.

It also said that tear gas should only be used “when strictly necessary and never inside education and health establishments”, adding that police officers should receive clear instructions on proper use, and ensure that canisters “are always fired at a high angle and never horizontally, according to international standards.”

In its conclusions, the report observed that “multiple root causes, including social and economic inequality” had prompted the demonstrations and that the majority of protesters “have done so in a peaceful manner”.

The OHCHR report also upheld specific measures to rectify police practices and called on the Government to “ensure that security forces adopt measures to guarantee accountability for human rights violations, and duly recognize such violations.”

“Recognizing and learning from what happened, we should look forward in a constructive way,” said Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said.

The report also prescribed a follow-up mechanism, within three months, to evaluate the implementation of recommendations.

“This follow-up mechanism should aim to establish measures to prevent the recurrence of the sad and troubling events that have engulfed Chile over the past two months – especially as protests are continuing in different parts of the country, albeit with less intensity, and we continue to receive allegations of human rights violations”, concluded Ms. Bachelet, underscoring that the mechanism’s work “should be made public.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

The Amazon is burning and we’re all watching

Health spending set to outpace GDP growth to 2030

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

How symbiosis can help industrial clusters reach net-zero

How to tap the talents of refugees – one student at a time

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

Yemen talks: Truce agreed over key port city of Hudaydah

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

4 ways blockchain will transform the mining and metals industry

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

3 reasons we should all care about biodiversity

EU adopts retaliative measures in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs

G20 LIVE: G20 leaders reaffirm OECD’s role in ensuring strong, sustainable and inclusive growth

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

European Commission pledges additional €30 million in immediate support for Lebanon

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency?

3 ways blockchain can accelerate sustainable development

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

Here’s how we can rethink the way we eat meat

Public consultation: Commission seeks citizens’ views in preparation of new European Democracy Action Plan

What business leaders can learn from jazz

Autonomous weapons that kill must be banned, insists UN chief

Why responsible consumption is everyone’s business

Commission statement on the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

Here’s what you need to know about Bangladesh’s rocketing economy

Governments urged to put first ever UN global migration pact in motion, post-Marrakech

Political agreement on the Aarhus Regulation: Commission welcomes increased public scrutiny of EU acts related to the environment

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

Bigotry makes politicians ‘complicit in the violence that follows’ : UN independent experts

Team Europe contributes €500 million to COVAX initiative to provide one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for low and middle income countries

Go early, go hard and keep it simple: how Senegal is staying ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs approve new CO2 emissions limits for trucks

Your chocolate can help save the planet. Here’s how

Global Talent – Professional Internships

Third wave of COVID-19: public policy challenges

Can you put a price on peace? This study says you can

Commission welcomes political agreement on Recovery and Resilience Facility

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Ethical education as an obligatory course in medical curriculum

Asian and Pacific economies: decreases in tax revenue highlight need to broaden tax bases

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

€1 billion Team Europe initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa

UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit

The EU and Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement enters into force

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

From Prince to Picasso, the arts can be just the tonic, new UN health agency study shows

Who is to profit from the quasi announced ECB rate cut?

Parliament makes EU electricity market cleaner and more consumer-friendly

5 reasons to protect mangrove forests for the future

Iceland to take vacated US seat on Human Rights Council

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

Water scarcity is a growing problem across the Middle East. Is this how we solve it?

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s