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Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Chile, U.N. Doc. A/50/44, paras. 52-61 (1995).


Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


52. The Committee considered the second periodic report of Chile (CAT/C/20/Add.3) at its 191st and 192nd meetings, held on 8 November 1994 (CAT/C/SR.191 and SR.192 and Add.2), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

A. Introduction

53. The Committee thanks the Government of Chile for the timely submission of its second periodic report and for the frank and constructive clarifications provided by the Chilean delegation in its oral report.

54. In general, the report is in conformity with the guidelines laid down by the Committee for presenting reports.

B. Positive aspects

55. The Committee takes due note of the political will of the Government of Chile to guarantee respect for human rights in the context of the transition from a dictatorship to a democratic regime.

56. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the Government is promoting a series of important changes, both in procedure and in the basic legislation, which will help to prevent the practice of torture.

57. It also regards as positive the implementation of programmes aimed at fully compensating those who have suffered from violations of human rights.

C. Subjects of concern

58. The Committee notes with concern the existence of a considerable number of complaints of torture and ill treatment at the hands of various law enforcement services, especially the Carabineros and the Investigatory Police, which have not met with an effective response, with the authors of these acts being duly brought to trial.

59. The Committee also considers that some aspects of the legislation in force, such as the rules of the criminal prosecution system and the subjection of civilians to military jurisdiction, are not helpful as far as the prevention of torture is concerned.

D. Recommendations

60. In a spirit of collaboration, the Committee suggests the adoption of the following measures:

(a) An in-depth review of procedure, especially as regards police powers of detention and the right of the detainee to free access to and communication with family members and legal advisers and a physician whom he trusts;

(b) The advisability of explicitly abolishing those rules, such as automatic obedience, which are not compatible with the Convention;

(c) Making the security forces subordinate to the civil authorities responsible for public safety and the abandonment of all vestiges of the legislation enacted by the military dictatorship;

(d) The advisability of making special provision for the offence of torture, as described in article 1 of the Convention, and making it punishable by a penalty appropriate to its seriousness;

(e) The possibility of withdrawing the existing reservation to the Convention and making declarations to the effect that the State party recognizes the competence of the Committee in the circumstances described in articles 21 and 22 of the Convention.

61. The Committee again expresses its appreciation to the Government of Chile for its readiness to engage in dialogue and in the search for solutions and is grateful for the supply of the legislation which has been enacted and that which will be enacted in the future.


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