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Uruguay Congress Upholds Amnesty Law

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TEHRAN, May 22 (ICANA) – Uruguayan lawmakers have voted to uphold an amnesty that protects officers during military rule from prosecution.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 7:54:26 PM
Uruguay Congress Upholds Amnesty Law

Lawmakers on Friday rejected the bill which would have scrapped the amnesty protecting officers during military rule from prosecution, despite criticism by human rights activists, AFP reported.

Amnesty International said Uruguay had "missed a historic opportunity in the pursuit of justice."

Human rights activists have criticized the amnesty which is also supported by Uruguay's President Jose Mujica.

Mujica had warned of the "political dangers" of scrapping the amnesty, and asked his party to uphold it though he had spent several years in jail under military rule between 1973 and 1985.

He also reminded Congress that Uruguayans twice backed the amnesty law in referendums in 1989 and 2009.

Under military rule, Uruguay had the largest number of political prisoners in the world, and some 200 people were kidnapped and killed.

Mujica originally supported the law aimed at scrapping the amnesty, but changed course after Uruguayans voted to keep the amnesty in a 2009 referendum.

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