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International brief ~ Chile offers reparations to Pinochet torture victims

[JURIST] Chilean President Ricardo Lagos announced Monday that the Chilean government will be offering lifelong pensions to individuals on a monthly basis that are almost equal to the minimum wage for the same period. The announcement follows the publication of the report of the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (official site in Spanish), which identified over 28,000 victims of torture that suffered under the military rule of General Augusto Pinochet. The report's details of individual circumstances has been sealed for fifty years unless an individual wishes to release their own records. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on Pinochet. BBC News has more.... Sudanese Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid announced Monday that the head of the UK mission to Sudan from the aid agency Save the Children was being expelled from the country for violating Sudanese law. The agency confirmed this and also announced that a letter of warning had been filed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The warning focuses on the statement by Save the Children that the Sudan government had dropped a bomb close to one of its feeding centers that was issued without confirmation by the African Union peacekeeping force based in Sudan. UK-based charity Oxfam also received a letter of warning Monday threatening to expel its country director. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on Sudan. Read Save the Children's statement concerning the initial bombing here. The Sudan Tribune has more.... The 2004 International Conference on Landmines, hosted by the African Union, opened Monday in Nairobi with a speech by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. The conference focuses on the status of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, called the Ottawa Convention, which aims to eventually outlaw the use of landmines. Ethiopia signed the treaty Monday, becoming the 144th country to accede to the banning of the use of landmines. BBC News has more.... Myanmar opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD) announced Monday that the Myanmar government has extended the house arrest of opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi has been held by the government since July 2003 and has been under house arrest in her Rangoon home since September 2003. U Lwin, spokesman for the NLD, said that government officials informed Aung San Suu Kyi of her extended arrest Monday, and stated the that NDL believed her new release date would be sometime around September 2005. The NDL won a landslide election in 1990, but has never been permitted to take control of the government by the military, which has run the country since 1962. The reported extension apparently comes at the behest of the new Prime Minister appointed by the military, Soe Win, who is known to oppose dialogue with the NLD. Channel NewsAsia has more.

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