Question of human rights in Chile.

1988/78. Question of human rights in Chile

The Commission on Human Rights, Aware of its responsibility to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and resolved to remain vigilant with regard to violations of human rights wherever they occur, Noting the duty of the Government of Chile to respect and protect human rights in accordance with the international instruments to which Chile is a party, in accordance with its international obligations, Recalling its pertinent resolutions, in particular its resolutions 11 (XXXV) of 6 March 1979, by which it appointed a Special Rapporteur, and 1987/60 of 12 March 1987, whereby it decided, among other things, to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year and to consider this question at its forty-fourth session as a matter of high priority, Bearing in mind that the concern of the international community at the situation of human rights in Chile has been expressed by the General Assembly in numerous resolutions, in particular resolution 42/147 of 7 December 1987, Deeply concerned that repeated appeals of the General Assembly, The Commission on Human Rights and other international organs for the re-establishment of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms have not been taken into account by the Chilean Government, Considering also certain reports prepared by various non-governmental organizations which have brought to public attention the serious violations of human rights in Chile, Bearing in mind the praiseworthy humanitarian work being carried out in Chile by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Noting that during 1987 laws have been put into effect which seriously impair freedom of thought and expression and signify the proscription and interdiction of persons as regards the exercise of their civil and professional rights on the grounds of their political opinions, that killings in alleged confrontations, abductions, unclarified disappearances and new cases of internal exile have occurred, that the overall situation of political prisoners has not improved, and that death threats have been made against representatives of the arts and culture, Noting also that the establishment of electoral registers and the legalization of certain political parties represent initial steps but, in the absence of a framework for free elections, do not meet the basic requirements of a democratic rule of law nor of the principle of non-discrimination based on political or other opinions which is an integral part of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Noting further that the decision of the Chilean Government to allow a number of exiles to return is a step in the right direction,

1. Takes note with interest of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Chile (E/CN.4/1988/7) submitted in accordance with its resolution 1987/60, and expresses its appreciation for his tireless efforts in preparing the report;

2. Welcomes the fact that the Government of Chile has authorized the Special Rapporteur to visit the country and expresses its confidence that the Government will continue to extend its co-operation in the fulfilment of his mandate, while regretting that this co-operation with the efforts of the United Nations has not led to a substantial improvement in the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

3. Again expresses its conviction that the re-establishment of a legal and political order based on the expression of the people's will through an electoral process open to all citizens on an equal footing and on free elections is fundamental for full respect for human rights in Chile;

4. Urges the Chilean Government to honour the requests from all social and political sectors for the peaceful restoration of a representative and pluralistic democracy, to guarantee the conditions of legitimacy that are indispensable for the announced plebiscite, such as the abolition of the states of emergency and other restrictions on the full exercise of the freedom of association and of assembly, full access to all means of communication and control by citizens over the electoral process;

5. Expresses its deep concern at the persistence of serious violations of human rights in Chile, as described in the report of the Special Rapporteur, which refers to such violations as murder, death in alleged confrontations, abduction, disappearance, torture and ill-treatment by the security forces, the climate of insecurity and extreme violence, the maintenance of exile and the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms during the prolonged periods in which states of emergency have been in force;

6. Also expresses its deep concern at the failure of the competent judicial authorities to take the necessary steps to conduct full investigations and prosecute independently those responsible for the numerous unresolved cases of murder, abduction, disappearance and torture, and for serious injuries caused by the use of new repressive methods of inhuman cruelty;

7. Emphasizes the need to re-establish the independence of the Chilean judiciary, as recommended by the Special Rapporteur in his report;

8. Expresses its concern at the systematic and continuing restrictions imposed by the Chilean Government on the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, through the use of repressive methods, in particular military searches and acts of intimidation against religious and lay human rights bodies and at times violent responses to social and political activities of the opposition;

9. Expresses dismay at the continued acts of extreme violence from all sources in Chile which have exacerbated the climate of insecurity, which is one of the factors that make a peaceful return to democracy difficult;

10. Emphasizes the need for the Government of Chile to restore and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in conformity with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in compliance with the obligations it has assumed under various international instruments and, in particular:

(a) To put an immediate end to the application of all laws and regulations contrary to the full exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the revoking of all states of exception;

(b) To put an immediate end to all forms of torture and effectively to respect the right to life and to physical and moral integrity, and furthermore to desist from intimidation and persecution, abductions, arbitrary arrests, and ill-treatment of political prisoners, including detention incommunicado for long periods;

(c) To put an end to and punish the activities of gangs and groups, whether private or connected with the security forces, which are responsible for rape, abductions resulting in death, searches, interrogations, intimidation and ill-treatment, and punish those responsible, specially the leaders of these groups;

(d) To ensure the effectiveness of investigations of human rights violations and the effectiveness of judicial remedies, particularly amparo or habeas corpus, to prevent the intimidation of witnesses and defence lawyers, and to re-establish the jurisdiction of the civilian courts in matters within their competence which have over the past years been delegated to the military courts;

(e) To guarantee that anti-terrorist legislation shall not be used against persons who have not committed terrorist acts, that persons accused of acts of violence or terrorism shall be accorded due process of law and respect for their rights, and that the accusation of terrorism shall not be adduced as a justification for any abuse of authority, torture or inhuman treatment or for the creation of special courts, which do not provide objective guarantees of independent justice;

(f) To respect the right of Chileans to live in and freely enter and leave their country without arbitrary restrictions or conditions, and to put an end to the practice of forced exile;

(g) To restore the full enjoyment and exercise of labour rights and to put an end to the repression of trade-union activities;

(h) To take all necessary steps to broaden and guarantee the rights of all political parties to campaign peacefully;

(i) To extend full co-operation to the International Committee of the Red Cross;

(j) To investigate and clarify without further delay the fate of persons arrested for political reasons who have subsequently disappeared;

11. Acknowledges the co-operation of the Government of Chile with the Special Rapporteur and requests that it continue and increase its co-operation with him and fully implement the resolutions and recommendations of the international community and of the Special Rapporteur on this matter;

12. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year and to request him to report on the situation of human rights in Chile to the General Assembly at its forty-third session and to The Commission on Human Rights at its forty-fifth session;

13. Recommends to the Economic and Social Council that it make appropriate arrangements to ensure that the necessary financial resources and sufficient staff are provided to implement the present resolution;

14. Decides to consider at its forty-fifth session, as a matter of high priority, the human rights situation in Chile.

56th meeting
10 March 1988
[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 34 to none,
with 7 abstentions. See chap. V.]

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