Practice Relating to Rule 150. Reparation
In 2006, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Chile stated:
Since March 1990, Chile’s democratic governments have been committed to taking legal and administrative measures to establish the truth and provide justice and reparation for the victims of human rights violations committed under the military regime. Such measures began to be implemented virtually from the moment President Patricio Aylwin took office, through the work carried out in 1990 by the National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation and the publication of its report in February 1991.
Chile also stated:
Right to effective redress, compensation and rehabilitation for the victims of torture and other ill-treatment
141. The right to fair and adequate compensation for the victims of torture is guaranteed under the general provisions and principles of Chilean legislation. Every offence is followed up by criminal proceedings in order to investigate the punishable act and punish the persons responsible for it, as well as civil proceedings to provide redress for the civil consequences of the offence. Such civil proceedings, one of the purposes of which may be to seek compensation for damage caused, may originate in the criminal proceedings themselves. In conformity with the general provisions of Chilean law, the victim of torture, certain family members and the heirs of a person who has suffered torture and died as a consequence may initiate civil proceedings to seek compensation.
Redress for victims of political imprisonment and torture during the military regime
142. The President’s proposal on human rights “No tomorrow without yesterday” expressly states that Chile owes a debt to those persons who suffered unfair and humiliating deprivation of liberty during the military regime, often accompanied by torture, and who have not been recognized as the victims of repression nor been granted any compensation.
National Commission on Political Prisoners and Torture
143. As a result of the President’s proposal, the National Commission on Political Prisoners and Torture was established as an advisory body to the President. Its functions were (a) to classify persons who suffered deprivation of liberty and torture on political grounds during the period between 11 September 1973 and 10 March 1990, and (b) to propose to the President the conditions, characteristics, forms and methods of compensation that could be granted to persons recognized as political prisoners or victims of torture who had not already received any benefits by way of compensation on those grounds.
144. The Commission launched its activities on 11 November 2003 in the Metropolitan Region, and on 10 December in the other regions and in Chilean consulates abroad. One year later it issued a report describing the historical context in which the torture had taken place, the attitude of the different State bodies to this practice, the different periods and types of political imprisonment and torture in Chile, the methods of torture used, places of detention, the profile of the victims and the effects of this abuse on them. In a year of activity the Commission received testimony from 35,868 people, of whom 28,000 residents in Chile and abroad were classified as victims; the remaining 7,000 testimonies were reviewed by the Commission, which classified a further 1,204 persons as victims. All the victims recognized by the Commission receive an annual pension and benefits from the Programme of Compensation and Comprehensive Health Care (PRAIS).
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