Torture survivors protest controversial Sail tall ship

Protest against Chilean torture ship the Esmeralda (Picture: Twitter/@mapucheNL). (Protest against Chilean torture ship the Esmeralda (Picture: Twitter/@mapucheNL))

Dozens of people gathered in Amsterdam on Wednesday to protest against the four masted Chilean ship the Esmeralda. The police were prominently present to make sure the protest does not get out of control.

According to the protesters, the Esmeralda was used as a prison and place to torture political opponents during the Pinochet regime in the 70's, the Volkskrant reports. The protesters stood on the quay at the IJ harbor with Chilean flags, placards and banner with slogans like "Chilean Navy, where are the missing people?".

This is the first time that the 113 meter long Chilean Navy ship is participating in the Sail event. Chileans in the Netherlands previously voiced their complaints about the ship's inclusion in the event.

One of the survivors of the torture was denied access to the Esmeralda on Wednesday. Brazilian Meath Boff, 69, was tortured on the ship in 1973. He made arrangements with the Sail organizers to board the ship to confront his past, but the captain refused the man, according to the Volkskrant.