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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 19:38 GMT
Daughter rues Pinochet-era abuses
Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, campaigning for her father's release from detention in the UK in 1999
Lucia Pinochet has always been a staunch defender of her father
The eldest daughter of Chile's former military ruler has said the use of torture during his 1973-90 regime was "barbaric and without justification".

Lucia Pinochet Hiriart spoke after a report on torture and detention during the rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet was submitted to the president.

The report has not yet been published, but it is said to detail horrific and degrading treatment of detainees.

"I knew there were detentions... but nothing like this," said Ms Pinochet.

Last year, Ms Pinochet complained that history had been distorted and her father was demonised while the man he overthrew, Salvador Allende, was depicted as a saint.

But in an interview with Chilean TV station Chilevision, she said the revelations of the extent of the suffering endured by those detained under her father had left her shocked.

"I knew there were detainees, that there were pressures, I even told [my father] that while he was in power, but nothing like this," she told the channel, according to La Tercera newspaper.

"Really, it deeply affected me - it was a barbarism without justification."

Parts of the report presented to President Ricardo Lagos on Wednesday have been leaked to the press.

The extracts suggest prisoners were electrocuted, beaten, burned with cigarettes and forced to consume human excrement and urine, among other abuses, La Tercera says.

Gen Augusto Pinochet in 1975

But Ms Pinochet insisted the responsibility for such abuses lay "with individuals - I don't believe... that it was at the level of government, something structural".

She said her father, who is 89, was old and in bad health.

"I don't think he gives this much thought," she said. "The ones who are really suffering are us," his family.

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

It is the first-ever major investigation into torture during the 17-year regime. Previous reports have focused on those who were killed.

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

The report is expected to be published around the end of this month.

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