Chile: Amnesty International writes to President Piñera reiterating his human rights obligations

Amnesty International is monitoring the actions of the Chilean authorities since they declared a state of emergency and urges the government to listen to the population’s grievances and take practical measures in response, the organization said yesterday in an open letter to President Sebastián Piñera.

According to the Santiago provincial government, 11 people have been killed during the state of emergency. According to Chile’s National Human Rights Institute (INDH), more than 1,330 people have been detained and 37 have been wounded by firearms.

Instead of likening the demonstrations to a ‘state of war’ and calling protestors enemies of the State, stigmatizing them in a generalized way in an attempt to justify abuses against them, President Piñera’s government should listen to them and give a serious response to their legitimate grievances
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“Instead of likening the demonstrations to a ‘state of war’ and calling protestors enemies of the State, stigmatizing them in a generalized way in an attempt to justify abuses against them, President Piñera’s government should listen to them and give a serious response to their legitimate grievances”, said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“Criminalizing protest is not an appropriate response. The Chilean authorities should take measures to prevent and avoid the violent actions of some protestors, but this must not in any circumstances serve as a pretext to restrict the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly or make undue use of force. People have every right and reason to protest”.

Amnesty International has set up the following channels through which the public can send evidence of human rights violations: Whatsapp: +52 55 6217 0608; email: crisisamericas@amnesty.org; Twitter: #EvidenciaCrisisChile.

“The Chilean people are not alone. We are monitoring the authorities’ response to the protests and our digital verification experts are reviewing audiovisual material that could provide solid evidence to back up allegations of the excessive use of force and other human rights violations”, said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

The Chilean people are not alone. We are monitoring the authorities’ response to the protests and our digital verification experts are reviewing audiovisual material that could provide solid evidence to back up allegations of the excessive use of force and other human rights violations
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

The Chilean authorities have an obligation to conduct thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into all allegations of excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, torture, ill-treatment and other human rights violations committed during the current protests and state of emergency and to investigate the circumstances in which people have lost their lives and find out who was responsible.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org