(London) - Human Rights Watch today hailed the decision by the British Home Secretary to allow extradition of Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet to go forward.

Brody applauded the British government's important step towards an "ethical foreign policy," which evidently gave weight to the arguments of Pinochet's victims against the claims of geopolitics and trade relations.

Brody noted that Straw's decision could still be challenged by Pinochet's lawyers in court. But he expressed the hope that any judicial review of Straw's decision would, like the House of Lords panel last month, deny Pinochet immunity from extradition.

"There's a growing international consensus, both legal and political, that those responsible for the worst atrocities must be punished," said Brody. "This is a tremendous birthday present to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights tomorrow."