Letter: Witness to tyranny

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I wonder if other readers were embarrassed by the naivety and parochialism of Hilary Walker's letter (8 December) suggesting that Mr Straw should make peace with the Chilean authorities so the Scouts' Jamboree should not be disrupted.

As an ex-scout who attended a jamboree, a youth leader, and a teacher I was genuinely shocked that a responsible adult could make such a misguided appeal.

Mr Straw's decision on the extradition of General Pinochet will have a profound effect on how abuse of human rights is viewed and dealt with around the world. The ex-dictator is accused of instigating the torture and murder of innocent people. To imply that this should be put aside so some youngsters can go on a camping holiday is offensive.

I hope the Jamboree goes ahead unimpeded and youngsters return home with a strong sense of being part of a world community. But mainly I hope their experience, whether they can attend or not, gives them a better perspective of what is really important.


Wallington, Surrey