On the occasion of the 10 December 2023 marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), the Edelstam Foundation together with the University of Chile want to commemorate the important pledge of fundamental human rights being universally protected. Please, see enclosed invitation to join our seminar, “Human Rights: Experiences of Protection” online, broadcasted from our event in Santiago de Chile, December 12 at 13:00 PM, Swedish time (CET).
STREAMING VIA ZOOM: http://tinyurl.com/4jjnfd72
We also want to commemorate the strength of international cooperation to procure justice for the victims of the coup in Chile in 1973 and elsewhere – the first time in history the principle of universal jurisdiction was used – to indict a Head of State, General Pinochet.
General Augusto Pinochet was indicted in Spain on July 1996 for human rights violations committed in Chile between 1973 and 1989. He was arrested in London on 16 October 1998 and held on house arrest for a year and a half. The House of Lords decided in November 1999 to waive his immunity as head of state, on the grounds that international law didn’t recognize any immunity for charges of international crimes such as torture. He was denied immunity again in March 2000, and subsequently the High Court of London granted his extradition to Spain. The British government decided afterwards to release him on health considerations. Authorized to return to Chile, the Supreme Court deprived Pinochet of his immunity and he was indicted by judge Juan Guzmán Tapia and charged with several crimes.
General Pinochet died on 10 December 2006 without having been tried and convicted. However, his arrest marked the first time several judges in different countries (Spain, Belgium, France and Switzerland) had applied the principle of universal jurisdiction to a foreign head of state, declaring themselves competent to judge international crimes committed in another country by a former head of state, despite the existence of local amnesty laws, thus reinforcing the protection of human rights everywhere.
By commemorating this occasion – the first time the international criminal legislation was fully tested and implemented after the trials in Nuremberg in 1945 – we want to highlight the importance of the international community’s solidarity and strength in collaboration, for a better protection of mankind, and the important milestone of 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Looking forward to seeing you and welcome to participate online in our seminar on December 12.
The Edelstam Foundation