Letter: Oppressive leaders should be brought to justice

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The Independent Online
THE ARREST of the former dictator Pinochet has stirred hopes for justice in the hearts of many Chileans and others who have suffered and paid with the loss of their loved ones ("Put my torturer on trial", 25 October). The same is true of us members of the Missionary Society of St Columban.

During the dark years of the Pinochet regime two Columban priests and one associate priest were expelled. Worse, Chilean police broke into our house in downtown Santiago, shot dead one of our lay staff and detained Sheila Cassidy who had sought refuge there.

We, the members of the Columban faith and justice team, applaud the efforts of the international community to bring to justice a man whose hands are red with shed blood. Let his jury be the almost 3,000 Chilean men and women who disappeared, were tortured and killed during his regime. It will be a moment to remember all those who have died for their political beliefs and a signal to all assassin-dictators that they are not immune, that they are answerable to their victims and to God.

EAMONN O'BRIEN

FRANK NALLY

ELLEN TEAGUE

FRANK REGAN

Society of St Columban London NW4

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