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Chile investigating torture allegations

PROSECUTOR Manual Guerra said on Wednesday he was seeking court approval to investigate 14 police officers for the alleged torture of protesters during almost three weeks of anti-government demonstrations in Chile.

The prosecutor for Santiago East said the investigation was related to two separate cases during a nine-day state of emergency in the capital Santiago last month.

One relates to the actions of 12 police officers in Nunoa, a suburb of the capital, where protesters defied a curfew over several nights to conduct large but mostly peaceful demonstrations in a central square, a spokesman for Mr Guerra said.

The second involves two officers in La Florida who were accused of beating a young man who was handcuffed, the spokesman said.

The alleged abuses took place against a backdrop of 20 days of mass demonstrations, some of which have turned violent, over endemic inequality in one of Latin America’s richest nations.

The unrest has caused at least 23 deaths, more than 7,000 detentions, and injuries to 1,659 protesters and 800 police officers, according to authorities and rights groups.

Prosecutors are investigating more than 800 allegations of abuses, including torture, rape and beatings by security forces, during demonstrations over inequality and the high cost of living.

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