Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, January 19, 1999 Published at 09:32 GMT

UK Politics

Pinochet victim of 'political kidnap'

General Pinochet: Described as a "political prisoner" by supporters

Supporters of Chile's General Augusto Pinochet have described the former dictator as a victim of "a politically-inspired kidnap".

A pamphlet written by a senior aide to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher stresses the work of the general in turning Chile into one of Latin America's most prosperous countries.

The pinochet File
It insists the on-going extradition process is purely politically motivated.

Author Dr Robin Harris, former head of the Conservative Research Department, writes: "Senator Pinochet is the closest thing Britain has to a political prisoner."

His pamphlet is being distributed to 5,000 "opinion formers" around the world on the second day of the new hearing into General Pinochet's claim of immunity from the Spanish extradition request.

[ image: Protesters demanding Pinochet's extradition outside the House of Lords]
Protesters demanding Pinochet's extradition outside the House of Lords
The UK's Law Lords are having to re-hear the case after their inital ruling - to allow the extradition to proceed - was dismissed when one judge was found to have links with the human rights group Amnesty International.

General Pinochet, who is now 83, is accused of orchestrating mass murder and torture during his rule of Chile.

But Dr Harris and the campaign group Chilean Supporters Abroad, which is distributing the pamphlet, argue his role was pivotal in creating a modern and prosperous state.

Professor Fernando Barros, leader of the Chilean Reconciliation Movement which is backing the campaign, said: "The vast majority of the Chilean people want to see an end to recrimination and are calling for support in the Chilean process of reconciliation."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

18 Jan 99 | World
Pinochet 'personally liable'

18 Jan 99 | The Pinochet file
Re-opening the wounds of the past

18 Jan 99 | Americas
The campaign to clear Pinochet

18 Jan 99 | The Pinochet file
The Pinochet case: Timeline

17 Jan 99 | World
Protest against Pinochet

17 Jan 99 | World
I'll die in Britain predicts Pinochet

In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target