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Chile - Expression of concern about police intervention in FASIC headquarters

26 May 1999

Letter to Amb. Javier Illanes Fernández, Permanent Representative of Chile to the UN in Geneva, 26 May 1999.


Excnmo Sr Embajador,

El Consejo Mundial de Iglesias quiere expresar su profunda preocupación por los hechos acontecidos recientemente en la sede de la Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas (FASIC), en Santiago de Chile.

Según informaciones recibidas de FASIC, el 19 de mayo, carabineros pertenecientes a la dotación de Fuerzas Especiales ingresaron violentamente a FACIC con el objeto de deterner a trest estudiantes universitarios que minutos antes havian ingresado a la sede. Al interponerse para proteger la integridad físic de estos jóvenes, el Secretario Ejecutivo, Sr. Claudio González, recibió golpes, puntapiés y empujones.

FASIC ha presentado ante la 2nda Fiscalia de la Justicia Militar una denuncia respecto a la violación de domicilio de que ha sido objeto, y el duro castigo y aprehensión de las personas que se encontraban en forma pacífica en sus oficinas. El Consejo Mundial de Iglesias quiere destacar que FASIC es un organismo vinculado a las iglesias que duranted décadas ha trabajado en la defensa y promoción de los derechos humanos.

La Asamblea de las Naciones Unidas adoptoó en diciembre de 1998 la Declaración sobre el derecho y el deber de los indivíduos, los grupos y las instituciones, de promover y proteger los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales universalmente reconocidos. En dicho documento se destaca la responsabilidad primordial del estado en prover y proteger los derchos humanos y las libertades fundamentales.

Aprovechamos la ocasión para reiterar la responsabilidad del gobierno chileno en garantizar la seguridad de organismos de derechos humanos, incluso de organismos vinculados a las iglesias.

Esperamos que el anhelo profundo del pueblo chileno por el respecto de los derechos humanos y de la justicia sea respondido con acciones concretas de parte de su gobierno.

                                                           Muy atentamente,

                                                                                             Salpy Eskidjian
                                                                                             Asuntos Internacionales

[TRANSLATION]

Your Excellency,

The World Council of Churches wishes to express its deep concern about recent events in the headquarters of the Foundation for Social Action of the Christian Churches (FASIC) in Santiago de Chile.

According to information received from FASIC, on 19 May members of the armed forces attached to the Special Forces violently entered FASIC with the intention of detaining three university students who had just entered the headquarters. When he sought to protect the physical integrity of these young people, Executive Secretary Mr Claudio González was hit, kicked and pushed.

FASIC has denounced before the 2nd Military Court this violation of domicile to which is was subject, and the heavy-handed punishment and detention of the persons who had entered the headquarters offices minutes before. The World Council of Churches wishes to emphasize that FASIC is a body related to the churches that has worked for the defense and promotion of human rights for decades.

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted in December 1998 the Declaration on the Right and Duty of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Human Rights and Universally Recognized Fundamental Freedoms. That document underscores the primordial responsibility of the state in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We take this occasion to reiterate the responsibility of the Chilean government to guarantee the security of human rights bodies, including those related to the churches.

We hope that the profound longing of the Chilean people for respect of human rights and justice will be met with concrete actions on the part of your government.

                                                         Respectfully,

                                                                                              Salpy Eskidjian
                                                                                              International Affairs