Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Chile: Torture Was State Policy

A Chilean presidential commission has provided an overwhelming indictment of the military dictatorship’s systematic use of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. In a report released last night, the commission collected testimony from thousands of torture victims who had never previously reported the abuse they had suffered. "After years of denial, Chile has finally acknowledged its legacy of torture," said JosĂ© Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. "This presidential commission has upheld the right of thousands of victims to reparation and moral recognition." Among its dramatic findings, the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture appointed by Chilean President Ricardo Lagos found that 94 percent of the people detained in the aftermath of the coup reported having been tortured. One of the most common methods of torture, reported in more than a third of the cases, was the application of electrical shocks. To read the full statement, click here.