A United Nations Human Rights Commission arrived in Santiago on Wednesday (12 July) to begin a ten-day visit to investigate alleged human rights violations in Chile.
A United Nations Human Rights Commission arrived in Santiago on Wednesday (12 July) to begin a ten-day visit to investigate alleged human rights violations in Chile. This is the first time the right-wing Junta has allowed a United Nations investigation team into the country since deposing left-wing President Salvador Allende in September 1973. A United Nations resolution condemned General Agusto Pinochet's government for human rights violations in December last year.
SYNOPSIS: The United Nations Group, now in Santiago, has been told by the Chilean government that its members are free to interview anyone and has guaranteed that there will be no reprisals against anyone who speaks to them. The group has previously relied on exiles for its reports of alleged torture and human rights violations in Chile. They recently issued a list of 1,050 people said to be missing since the 1973 coup. The Chilean government has denied it is holding any of those reported missing and says a great majority of them probably went underground or were killed in clashes with security forces.
The delegates are Abdoulaye Dieye, a Minister of the Supreme Court of Senegal, Marianne Kamara from the Department of Social Security and Development of Sierre Leone and Felix Ermacora, a member of the Socialist Party of Austria.
Mr. Dieye spoke to journalists at the airport shortly after the committee arrived on Wednesday (12 July). He said that his group recognised the importance of the visit and stressed that they were not obligated to anyone. He said the Chilean government had guaranteed them freedom of movement and the group would conduct an impartial and objective investigation. The United Nations Commission has been trying to visit Chile since 1975. Agreement on this visit was reached last month in New York.