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Chile questions moral authority of US in human rights
Updated: 2009-02-28 14:33

SANTIAGO -- The Chilean government questioned the "moral authority" of the United States in criticizing the human rights situation in other countries, local media reported Friday.

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"There is no Guantanamo in Chile," Francisco Vidal, a spokesman for the Chilean government, said in a statement.

The US State Department pointed its fingers at the human rights situation in other countries without checking its own behavior first, he said, in reaction to the 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices presented to the US Congress by the State Department on Wednesday.

The detention center at the US military base in the Guantanamo Bay has been repeatedly criticized as several detainees there have claimed that they were tortured and subjected to inhumane treatment. Most of the detainees there have been accused of having engaged in terrorism but have spent several years in prison without trial.

Vidal said Chile's tragic experience during the military dictatorship has made the country "realize that violations of human rights is not a local issue."

"When a human being is tortured in any place of the world, the dignity of the rest six billion human beings is also violated," he said.