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Former Argentine Policeman Handed 25-Year Prison Sentence for Human Rights Abuses


An Argentine court has sentenced a former police officer to 25 years in prison for human rights violations during the country's military dictatorship.

The Buenos Aires court Friday sentenced Julio Simon for the 1978 abductions of Jose Poblete, Gertrudis Hlaczik and their eight-month-old daughter, Claudia.

The couple was never seen again, and Claudia was handed over to a military officer's family. Her identity was not discovered until more than 20 years later.

The conviction was the first since Argentina's 2005 Supreme Court ruling that overturned amnesty laws protecting military and police officials from prosecution for human rights violations during the country's so-called "Dirty War."

Under Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship, officials say about 13,000 people died or disappeared during the crackdown on dissidents and political enemies. Human rights groups estimate nearly 30,000 people were killed.

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