Ius et Praxis [online]. ISSN This article reviews Prof. We therefore begin by describing and analyzing Prof. Ambos' system for a general part of international penal law , and then torture is analyze as a crime against humanity, subject to the rules of international penal law.
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Then, he had second thoughts. This is not to say that there has been no movement at all on the issue. Further, in the transition from dictatorship, some torture survivors have been able to receive personal medical assistance from the Government, others were able to regain their civil rights by challenging official documentation that presented them as criminals, while some have been accepted as viable witnesses in human rights court cases.
However, these rights were hard to attain and, at an official level, those who survived imprisonment and torture were not generally acknowledged. The full Report, spanning pages, is only available on the internet 4 and has not been made widely available in printed form. Such a response indicates the real need that many victims had to have their experiences officially acknowledged.
Victims were tortured in police stations, military installations, schools and hospitals, among other sites. Out of this group, 27, people were officially registered as victims of torture. Of those who were officially designated as victims of torture, the following statistics can be provided:. The worst period of torture occurred immediately after the coup, as more than 18, Another 5, The majority A third of all victims faced electric shock torture and nearly all female victims reported that they has suffered sexual torture.
The majority 27, were adults during detention however children were also registered as victims, these children were either born during imprisonment or detained with their parents. Most of the young adults belonged to political parties and acknowledged that they had also been trade union members.
Of those victims who were under 18 years of age, were between 16 and 17, were 13 to15 and 88 were 12 or less. None of these children were legally responsible at the time of their detention. Generally, this was focused on cases where individuals could prove that they had been detained without due process, or that they were arrested under one of the special decrees created by the regime, or that they had been arrested by the DINA the secret service body , or that they had been arrested on accusations of a regime-established crime eg.
Those giving testimony, as either a survivor or a surviving relative, had to therefore prove the political basis of the detention.
Evidence was based on witness testimony, detention centre records as well as other documentation from state agencies, human rights organizations, contemporary media accounts, international bodies and the armed forces. Following his release, a sequence of events has developed in the human rights arena. Simultaneously, other cases have developed and these have resulted in the conviction of many significant dictatorship figures.
This group has consistently exposed the lack of justice and accountability for human rights violations in Chile. With such events 7 , the Chilean government has encountered a new, safer space to pursue accountability. At the start of the new century, human rights perpetrators have held less sway in Chilean politics and law.
Moreover, Chile has been keen to maintain its international image and status as a country that has dealt well with its past. However, even the Commissioners themselves raised the question of the meaning of writing a report thirty years after events occurred.
As they note,. After having listened to intimate, whispered narratives, told with pain and even with tears, and after seeing the physical and psychological evidence, as well as the family and social damage — some of which can not be repaired or restituted — of so many Chileans imprisoned and tortured, we have no doubt that we had to complete this part of the truth, as well as possible, for the reparation and justice that the country owes to its brothers and sisters, and to progress along the roads of the always difficult and necessary encounter and reconciliation among Chileans 8.
For the Commissioners, the Report emerged from the continued national need to deal with the long-standing issues of truth, reparation, justice and reconciliation. The impact of the official acknowledgement of the extensive use of torture during dictatorship can not be denied. To view the extent of the lists of torture victims is overwhelming.
While some torture survivors may have the ability to make public their suffering, most will not. This lack of exposure of detailed testimonies will mean that the Chilean population will not understand the diverse ways in which people endured detention and torture.
The truth of torture is also tested by the fact that lists detail the tortured but do not identify torturers. Those who suffered torture are the only ones who are exposed in this official truth-finding. This has resulted in sharp criticism of the Report.
If an official body like this can not face truth as a whole, then who could? In response to these omissions, a counter-report has been established, by a group of ex-political prisoners in Santiago, to identify and castigate torturers as well as those who actively supported torture 9.
Such actions represent an attempt to devalue the status of torturers within Chilean society — an action that should be undertaken by the government. Given the lack of official recognition of torturers, perpetrators have also continued to disseminate messages and threats to the population. Some officials from the armed forces have claimed that torture was an aberration, only attributable to individual, unruly officers while others have refused to accept any institutional responsibility at all.
For example, Rodolfo Stange and Fernando Cordero, high-ranking police officials, argued that they had no reason to argue for forgiveness.
Cordero even went so far as to say that the ones who would have to ask for forgiveness were the ones who were responsible for events before 11 September Finally, despite the vast number of individuals who have come forward to give their testimony, we must also be mindful that there are many others who did not. For instance, as far as we have been informed 10 , in some countries only a few individuals gave their testimony to the Chilean Consulate while most individuals collectively agreed not to engage with the process.
As far as these groups were concerned, government officials could not be trusted to effectively represent their needs. Fear and mistrust are still present in their lives. Presently, the amount received by an individual who was held over several years is the same given to a victim detained for a week. Reparations are not, however, confined to financial payment.
Some of these services will provide welcome relief. However a question may be raised about access to education. Given the reality that most victims are over 50, this seems to be a benefit that can promote governmental good-will without too much cost.
The idea that a proposed National Human Rights Foundation might be funded by victims of torture, without asking perpetrating individuals and institutions to contribute to it, seems quite inappropriate. Let us remember that perpetrators have received well-paid salaries and pensions over the last 30 years while victims have had to wait to receive any symbolic reparation.
As detailed above, a protective position for perpetrators and violating institutions has been set up. This has ensured that the equilibrium of power has been maintained in Chile; there has been no loss of prestige or status for perpetrators or violating institutions, and some individuals remain in powerful positions With a recent Supreme Court decision to only allow judges six months to conclude human rights investigations and governmental announcements of a law to expedite human rights trials, opportunities for justice are being drastically curtailed.
Victims have a legal right to justice for the violations inflicted against them. With such activities exposed, the opportunities for reconciliation are hindered. The distance between victims and perpetrators together with the imbalance of power and the concessions given to perpetrators all contribute to a situation in which reconciliation can not be expected to happen.
At previous reconciliation masses in Santiago, churches have been filled with military officials, politicians and judges while the relatives of the detained-disappeared have remained outside, not invited to participate. The same pattern appears to be repeated here. To engage in reconciliation, all individuals must have an awareness and understanding of different positions.
The decision to expose the Report on the internet will mean that those who read the findings will inevitably be those who are already working in human rights, academics, those who gave testimony, and so on. Moreover, those who do not want to read the findings, or do not know of its existence, will continue not knowing. Their previous silence does not demonstrate a lack of will to communicate on their part rather it represents a lack of will by Chilean society and government to actually listen to torture testimonies.
Yet, with this Report, the Comissioners propose that the silence of torture has ended. Given the limitations on the Report, discussed above, we would argue that Chilean society still has some way to go before it could affirm such a statement. However, we still understand relatively little about the suffering those detained endured, how perpetrators legitimised their violations and the structures that allowed torture to flourish. Her e-mail address is monitos compadres.
She is contactable at: elizabeth. The NHRC serves the interested public as an information center for questions concerning human rights. It is equipped with a publicly accessible library and an often visited website in German, English and Spanish. Educational material is available for download. Furthermore they give lectures in Germany and abroad.
Send us an E-mail. Of those who were officially designated as victims of torture, the following statistics can be provided: The worst period of torture occurred immediately after the coup, as more than 18, How were victims counted? About us The NHRC serves the interested public as an information center for questions concerning human rights. More about us ….
The report was published on November 29, and detailed the results of a six-month investigation. A revised version was released on June 1, The commission was reopened in February for eighteen months, adding more cases. The commission found that 38, people had been imprisoned for political reasons and that most had been tortured. It also found that thirty people "disappeared" or had been executed in addition to those recorded by the earlier Rettig Report. Testimony has been classified, and will be kept secret for the next fifty years, until
Comisiones de la Verdad de Chile: Verdad y Reparaciones como Política de Estado