NEW YORK (Jan. 5)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith expressed its dismay at the Argentine government’s decision that will close the door on the prosecution of those responsible for atrocities committed under the former military regime.
The law, submitted to Congress by President Raul Alfonsin and known as “Punto Final” (full stop), establishes a 60-day deadline for the submission of indictments against persons involved in the abduction, torture, and disappearance of thousands during the military rule from 1976 to 1983. Alfonsin signed the law on December 26.
According to the ADL, similar action has been approved in Uruguay, where President Julio Sanguinetti last month signed a law approved by the Chamber of Deputies providing total amnesty for those responsible for human rights violations during the military regime from 1973-1985.
Abraham Foxman, associate national director of the ADL and head of its International Affairs Division, said that while his agency commends the Alfonsin administration for bringing to trial members of the military junta and other select officials, “we deplore the recent legislative actions that would prevent military personnel and others from being brought to justice in Argentina and Uruguay. Those guilty of murder, torture and anti-Semitism in the jails ought not go unpunished.”
Foxman added: “Commitment to justice through law is essential — not only for the sake of the memory of the disappeared and all those who suffered under military rule — but also for the sake of the future of continued democracy in Argentina and Uruguay.”