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UN team gathers accounts of injuries during Chile’s protests

Authorities have also noted that at least 76 police officers have been injured in attacks by protesters.

A police officer fires a tear gas canister at anti-government demonstrators during a protests in Santiago, Chile.

A police officer fires a tear gas canister at anti-government demonstrators during a protests in Santiago, Chile.Credit:AP

At least 20 people have died in the protests, which started last month after the government announced a hike in subway fares. The protest movement expanded to include broader grievances over education, health services and growing economic inequality.

Most protests have been peaceful, but there have also been cases of arson and looting.

The mission sent by Michelle Bachelet, a former Chilean president who is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is investigating allegations of human rights violations during Chile’s unrest.

The United Nations team will collect testimonies and reports throughout the country. The team will continue its work until November 22.

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On Friday, about 100 people, including doctors and students, spoke for several minutes each to four members of the UN mission.

Morales, the doctor, said he and others displayed photographs of patients who had lost not only eyesight but also parts of eyeballs.

The Medical College says its doctors have treated more than 140 people for eye injuries, a statistic that does not include similar injuries recorded at private hospitals.

Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights, which is independent of the government, has recorded 1574 people who were taken to hospitals after being injured in protests. Several hundred of those were shot.

The institute has filed nearly 200 lawsuits against the state, including some related to alleged homicide and sexual assault.

In some cases, security forces have taken women to areas not monitored by security cameras and made them undress, according to Maria Jose Guerrero, head of a group called the Observatory against Street Harassment.

More protests are expected in Chile next week.

AP

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