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News > Chile

Chile: Senate Commission Debates Pardon To Political Prisoners

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "Freedom to the prisoners of the social unrest, Only the poor go to jail," Chile, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @lahoraredaccion

Published 26 January 2021

Lawmakers proposed a bill to clear people imprisoned for their participation in social protests since October 2019 to date.

Chile's Senate Human Rights Commission on Monday approved the discussion of a bill that seeks to grant pardon to political detainees linked to the 2019 social unrest. 


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On Dec. 9, 2020, Senate President Adriana Muñozel promoted the bill that must also be debated in the Security and Constitution Commissions.

Excepting people prosecuted for terrorist crimes, the bill seeks to annul the criminal liability and cancel the penalty to those who were imprisoned for participating in protests, rallies, and demonstrations since Oct. 7, 2019.

In early January, the Supreme Court reported that 26 protesters remained in preventive detention. Senators, however, claimed that the number was higher. 

The meme reads, "Activists and political protesters' relatives demonstrate in Alameda-Morande, awaiting the Senate vote on the pardon bill."

Although the bill recognized that the acts committed by the detainees were punishable under current laws, it mentions that the State committed notorious abuses during the arrest of citizens and their subsequent unjustified detention.

President Sebastian Piñera's spokesperson Jaime Bellolio announced that his government will veto the bill arguing that it is a "bad sign" as it justifies violence.

Within the Senate, the bill needs 22 out of 43 votes to be approved.

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