ICJ urges Chile’s newly elected President to ensure that crimes against humanity do not remain unpunished

by | Mar 14, 2000 | News

The ICJ takes calls on the new government of Ricardo Lagos to honour its international obligation to bring to justice all alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity that were committed during military dictatorship.

The ICJ recalls that there can be no impunity for such crimes. The rule of law cannot exist alongside the political expedient of impunity. It requires that nobody and no sector of society remain out of law’s reach.

The ICJ voices grave concern over the proposal to reform Article 30 of the Constitution of Chile which grants immunity to former heads of State. To adopt such a reform would hinder the legal procedures that have been initiated against Augusto Pinochet. The ICJ holds that the adoption of such a reform would enshrine impunity as a constitutional norm.

The ICJ urges the new Chilean authorities to take all measures to remove obstacles that stand in the way of justice. In particular, they should repeal and invalidate the 1978 Amnesty Law which has been repeatedly declared incompatible with Chile’s international obligations by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the United Nations Committee on Human Rights. The ICJ also urges Chile to take measures to guarantee that those responsible for the crimes be brought before civilian courts.

The ICJ urges the Chilean authorities to lift Mr. Pinochet’s parliamentary immunity as demanded by Judge Juan Guzman Tapias, and to let justice follow its course outside of any pressure or interference. The ICJ also calls upon the new executive to collaborate as fully as possible with the instructing judge – in particular with regard to international judicial cooperation with the courts and legal authorities of Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland.

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