“We hope that all incidents of police brutality will be brought before a court”
Ana Piquer is the director of Amnesty International in Chile.
There’s no official census specifically on incidents of police abuse in Chile. There have always been cases of abuse, but these last few months of protests have had a serious impact on the number of people who have come forward saying they are the victims of random violence. For example, we’ve heard of police using teargas against innocent people or using excessive force.
The growing number of cases prompted us a few days ago to call on public officials to open an investigation into police brutality. In the two days that we’ve been waiting for an answer, several new complaints have been reported to us.
The argument that protesters should distance themselves from thugs in order to avoid being confused with them by police doesn’t hold. Security forces should be able to identify rioters from what are otherwise mostly peaceful protesters. Arrests should be made in accordance with international standards and respect the rights of the individual concerned. The police should respect innocent protesters. To say the contrary suggests that any protester could be subject to blind repression.
We hope that all incidents of police brutality will be brought before a court, but we’re not very optimistic. The public authorities have never showed any kind of willingness to investigate these kinds of cases.”
A young, unarmed protester is apprehended by a policeman, and beaten in the face. The person who filmed the incident hopes to identify the officer. Video posted on Youtube by DiarioLaVilla.