Chile has started an investigation into the “excessive internet traffic” for a probable interference of an Eastern European country in the weeks for protests. Chilean Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribero said that the investigating agencies are looking into a case of direct international interference. He alleged the creation of “false profiles” but did not divulge any details on the nature of interference.
"What we do know is that in the days after October 18, there was an important share of internet use coming from a country in Eastern Europe to Chile," said Ribero without naming the country.
Last month, the United States had accused Russia of meddling in Chile’s internal affairs but couldn’t corroborate it with substantive evidence. Russian denied Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov the allegations and blamed the United States of taking advantage of the “difficult internal situation” in Chile to belittle Russia’s foreign policy.
The protesters have been demanding improved services with social and economic equality. The weeks-long demonstrations turned violent over a period of time and claimed at least 23 lives. The protests started against a hike in subway fares which soon took a massive form demanding a broad range of changes.
On November 26, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Chile’s national police of committing serious human rights violations including the use of excessive force on the people in the streets and abuses in detention.
“There are hundreds of worrying reports of excessive force on the streets and abuse of detainees, including brutal beatings and sexual abuse, that should be promptly and thoroughly investigated to ensure victims’ access to justice,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.
Officials of the New York-based human rights organisation met Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera and recommended a series of reforms. They urged Piñera to review powers of police to detain anyone in order to ensure safeguards against the arbitrary use of ‘stop and detain’ powers. The organisation also advised the Chilean President to enforce the existing ban on strip-searching of people detained during protests and punish the officers who continue that practice.