Protest at Peace Palace | The Hague | 1 November | Stop Human Rights Violations in Chile

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 31/10/2019 10:01:19

Wanneer: 01/11/2019 - 13:34

Chileans in The Netherlands issue urgent plea for solidarity with the Chilean people. As Chilean citizens living, studying and working in The Netherlands, we want to express our deep concern for the violent and militarized response of the Chilean Government to recent cost of living protests in our country.

Given the lack of attention and proper coverage of these events in the international media, we are making this plea for the support of Dutch citizens and democratic authorities. We urge that you join us in condemning the violence, in demanding that human rights abuses are investigated and in calling for the Chilean Government to open channels of peaceful dialogue with the protesters and civil society.

The recent protests were sparked by an increase in the Santiago metro fare, in what turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for citizens in one of the most unequal countries in Latin America. High school students began protesting through civil disobedience, by refusing to pay metro fares and jumping barriers. Some of these protests led to public and private property being damaged.

The government responded violently, stationing hundreds of anti-riot police forces across the city who used clubs, tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets against the protesters. The situation only escalated from there, as more people took to the streets to protest against the economic and social situation and the violent response of the authorities.

Even though the majority of protests remained peaceful, the Government reacted by declaring a State of Emergency (which implies restriction of civil rights), imposing curfews and sending military troops on to the streets.

Hundreds of videos have however emerged on social media, showing the military and militarized police beating civilians with batons, shooting unarmed protesters as they run away and dragging unconscious bodies into military vehicles. However, neither the Government, nor the majority of mainstream media in Chile have acknowledged or investigated them.

The causes of these protests run much deeper than the recent increase in metro fares and are linked to the rising costs of utilities, the privatization of water, stagnant wages, poverty level pensions, growing levels of student debt, a precarious public health system and increasing inequality in one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America.

The INDH reports that 3,193 people have been detained, including 343 minors. The INDH has also received numerous reports of detainee torture, forced strippings, sexual violence and other forms of mistreatment. Other independent organisations are attempting to maintain parallel accounts of deaths, mistreatments and wounded. These sources suggest that the true injury figures are much higher than those quoted here, but in the current situation this is difficult to confirm.

Stop Human Rights Violations in Chile | Friday 1 November | Peace Palace | The Hague | 15:00 - 18:00

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