A 30-page report based on research during the first three weeks of November, extensively details multiple allegations, including torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police against people held in detention.
The leader of the UN mission, Imma Guerras-Delgado, told journalists in Geneva, that the overall management of demonstrations by the police “was carried out in a fundamentally repressive manner.”
When a student protest in October over subway prices turned into a nationwide movement against the Government, peaceful demonstrations swept across the country.
The research team conducted 235 interviews with victims and 60 others with police officers, including some of those injured during the protests.
“The police have regularly failed to distinguish between people demonstrating peacefully and violent protesters”, the report said.
Moreover, it documented 113 specific cases of torture and ill-treatment, and 24 cases of sexual violence against women, men and adolescent girls and boys, perpetrated by members of the police and army, while noting that the National Human Rights Institution had filed criminal complaints relating to hundreds of other such cases.
Citing the Ministry of Justice figures, the OHCHR report revealed that up to 10 December, nearly 5,000 people were injured, including nearly 2,800 police officers, but noted other sources had indicated higher number had suffered injuries.
Citing some 350 people with injuries to their eyes or faces, the report said that “alarmingly high number…provides a strong basis to believe that ‘less-lethal weapons’ have been used improperly and indiscriminately, against international principles on minimizing the risk of injury.”
It noted that while eye injuries mainly resulted from shotgun pellets, some cases were “due to the use of chemical irritants, in particular tear gas and, in some instances, from impacts from tear gas canisters.”
Pointing out that the authorities “had information regarding the extent of the injuries as early as 22 October”, the report maintained that those responsible failed to adopt timely measures to stop the use of less-lethal weapons.
Source : UN