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Nothing to hide over police abuse claims: Chile Sebastian Pinera

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Santiago, Chile Nov 06, 2019, 09.26 PM (IST)

Chile's President Sebastian Piner said Wednesday his government had "nothing to hide" concerning allegations that police killed, tortured and sexually assaulted civilians during deadly protests against him.

Prosecutors say five of the 20 deaths recorded in the protests against high living costs were suspected to have been at the hands of security forces.

"We have been totally transparent about the figures because we have nothing to hide," President Sebastian Pinera said in a speech on Wednesday.

A UN human rights mission is investigating allegations of police brutality during the unrest.

Chile's independent National Human Rights Institute says it has brought legal action over 181 cases including alleged murders, sexual violence and torture by the military police.

Pinera said state agents who committed abuses would be punished just as severely as those who carried out vandalism or violence in the protests.

Pinera has reshuffled his government and announced a series of measures aimed at placating the protesters.

In the latest of these, on Wednesday he signed a law guaranteeing a minimum monthly wage of some $467.

But protesters have continued demanding that the right-wing billionaire president step down.

Pinera said in a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday that he would not resign over the protests.