"Violence can never be the response to people's social and political demands, the high number of injuries and the way in which non-lethal weapons have been used seems to indicate that the use of force was excessive and violated the requirements of necessity and proportionality, "said the experts who are appointed by the Human Rights Council and perform their duties in their personal capacity.
At least 20 people died and about 1,600 were injured, including police officers, in protests that began in early October in Chile over rising transportation costs and deep-rooted inequality.
On October 19, the state of emergency was declared in several provinces of that South American country in the midst of an escalation of violence and thousands of people were arrested, including children and adolescents.
Experts are also deeply concerned about reports of excessive use of force against people before detention occurs; and for the information received about abuses perpetrated against children, abuse and beatings that could constitute torture.
They also received reports of sexual violence against women, men and adolescents, including practices such as forced nudity, groping and rape during detention.
"Women and children have been actively involved in the ongoing protests and the State must address their specific protection concerns," experts said.
The experts rejected all acts of violence committed by individuals, recalling that "the Chilean Government has an obligation not only to respect human rights, but to protect people against acts of violence committed by individuals (…) You must allow the protests are carried out by isolating those who resort to violence, while ensuring that all people in the country can enjoy their rights. "
Finally, independent experts welcomed the decision of the authorities to invite a mission from the UN Office of Human Rights to the country.
This mission will assess the human rights situation related to the protests and the state of emergency in Chile, including the identification of the main patterns of human rights violations, the analysis of the response of the Chilean State institutions as well as the related causes. With the protests.