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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 21:50 GMT
Chile's torture report finalised
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos with the commission's report
Mr Lagos said he would study the report before responding
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos has been presented with a major report on torture and detention during General Augusto Pinochet's military regime.

The study by a government-sponsored commission is based on interviews with 35,000 former prisoners.

It has not yet been published, but the BBC's Clinton Porteous in Chile says it contains full details of abuses committed between 1973 and 1990.

President Lagos described the report as "a very important step for Chile".

"How many countries have dared to examine their past in depth? How many countries have dared to get to the bottom of what happened?" he asked.

"Because this is a solid and stable country, we have been able to do it," he added.

Mr Lagos said he would not comment on the report's contents until he had had time to study it closely.

Largely forgotten victims

The report, drawn up by the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and torture, is the first-ever major investigation into torture during the 17-year regime. Previous reports have focused on those who were killed.

Until now, those who suffered torture have been largely the forgotten victims of Gen Pinochet's military government, but soon they are expected to receive a symbolic compensation payment, our correspondent says.

Last week, the head of the Chilean army, Gen Juan Emilio Cheyre, accepted institutional responsibility for past abuses.

Although the report's contents are not yet public, it is known that about 10% of the testimonies are from women.

The study highlights that the regime was most brutal in the months following the military coup of September 1973, our correspondent says.

It also describes torture methods such as suffocation and electric shocks, as well as sexual abuses.




SEE ALSO:
Chile army admits rights abuses
05 Nov 04 |  Americas
Dementia diagnosis for Pinochet
15 Oct 04 |  Americas
Pinochet undergoes medical tests
30 Sep 04 |  Americas
Pinochet denies links to killings
28 Sep 04 |  Americas
Sea find linked to Chile missing
23 Sep 04 |  Americas
Analysis: Shock at Pinochet ruling
28 May 04 |  Americas


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