Federation of Human Rights asks Chile to take a "strong stand" against torture

The entity urged the United Nations Committee against Torture to recommend constitutional reform.

07 de Mayo de 2009 | 15:36 | EFE

PARIS.- The International Federation of Human Rights (IFHR) asked Chile to take a "strong stand" against torture today and spoke out against the recent tendency to "excessively lower" penalties for those accused of crimes against humanity.

The IFHR and its partner organization in Chile, the Corporation for the Promotion and Defense of People's Rights (Codepu), urged the Committee against Torture of the United Nations to recommend that Chile reform its constitution.

Both organizations denied by way of a memo that the legal definition of torture under Chilean law has not be adapted to the Convention of the United Nations.

The request is aimed at amending the constitution so that it will establish "a more democratic voting system" and incorporate human rights "in its full breadth", including the right not to be a victim of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments and penalties.

Some of the organizations' other concerns include the ability for military courts to try cases involving police violence, as well as the failure to abolish the Amnesty Law of 1978 and enforcement of the Military Code, which are still in effect.

Furthermore, the two organizations plan to continue looking into the application of the anti-terrorism bill against the Mapuche indigenous community, as well as the unfinished work of the "Comisiones de Verdad", which has overlooked thousands of victims.

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