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UN warns Chile: preventive identity control gives arbitrary powers to the Police

Archivo | Héctor Andrade | Agencia UNO
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The OHCHR Regional Office for South America expressed its concern due to a project of law that the Chilean Congress is debating, which pretend to authorize to Carabineros (Chilean police), the application of preventive identity controls.

“The disposition infringes concepts unanimously adopted by the International Community, such as presumption of innocence and legality principle, when giving disproportionate faculties and arbitrary to the police”, stated on Monday, Amerigo Incalcaterra, OHCHR representative in South America.

The measure will give to Carabineros the permission to obligate any person the showing of a document to prove its identity, such as a chilean ID, a passport, or a driving licence and in case of not carrying any identification document, could be arrested by the police.

The purpose, in accordance with the Government, is to have a mechanism to identify to those citizens who have pending arrest orders or commit crimes.

The measure has been harshly questioning by social organisms and of chilean human rights, because it has been argued that pretend to reinstate the “suspicion detention “, a norm used during the dictatorship, to arrest opposition persons, and that was abrogated in 1998, eight years after the dictatorship ends.

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