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

MasterCard at European Business Summit 2015: A focus on innovation will drive inclusive economic growth for Europe

Children are still dying in Yemen war, despite partial ceasefire, says UNICEF chief

London wants new skyscrapers to protect cyclists from wind tunnels

Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

The EU’s outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission decides to register ‘Right to Cure’ initiative

10 lessons from the COVID-19 frontline for a more gender-equal world

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Why exchange programs are essential for the medical students of the 21st century

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

World Health Organization calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Business uncertainty rises as US grants only temporary exception to EU for steel and aluminium tariffs

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

Commission offers discount on fines to banks for competition infringements

Oleg Sentsov awarded the 2018 Sakharov Prize

These 5 charts show our shifting behaviour around coronavirus

Conflict, climate change among factors that increase ‘desperation that enables human trafficking to flourish’, says UN chief

Nine children killed or maimed in Afghanistan every day: UN Children’s Fund

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

Draghi repels Trump’s threats, rejects Schauble’s dictums

This surgeon runs a makeshift hospital for over 200,000 people

UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties

Education in Emergencies: EU announces record humanitarian funding for 2019 and launches #RaiseYourPencil Campaign

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

Why philanthropy for – and by – Africans is the future

Voices of Afghan women ‘must be heard at the table in the peace process and beyond’ UN deputy chief tells Security Council

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

JADE Team at the European Business Summit 2017

Respect people’s peaceful assembly and fair trail rights, UN human rights wing urges Nicaragua

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

The EU Spring Summit set to challenge austerity

How India is solving its cooling challenge

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

These entrepreneurs are turning discarded fishing nets into surfboards and swimwear

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

UN commission agrees roadmap on ensuring women’s social protection, mobility, safety, and access to economic opportunities

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

Why remote working doesn’t have to mean alienated employees

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

China, forever new adventures

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Main results of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) – 18-19/10/2018

UN expert condemns new sentence for jailed Venezuelan judge as ‘another instance of reprisal’

This new programme could hold the key to solving global health challenges

Two-thirds of employees would trust a robot boss more than a real one

LGBTQ+ inclusion on the other side of the screen

How communities are dealing with economy, society and education in COVID-19 crisis     

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

November infringements package: key decisions

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

Acute food insecurity ‘far too high’ UN agency warns, as 113 million go hungry

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