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Alberto Fujimori remains in prison in Peru

The guarded door of the prison where former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is being held on March 29, 2022 in Lima.

Alberto Fujimori has to serve his sentence. On Friday, April 8, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ordered the Peruvian state to: “don’t act” the decision of the Constitutional Court of 17 March that approved the early release of the former president. An opinion to be respected by Peru; the government of leftist President Pedro Castillo had previously said it would obey.

The 83-year-old ex-autocrat, who ruled the country from 1990 to 2000, was sentenced in 2007 to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity and eight years for corruption. The Inter-American Court’s ruling is the ultimate turning point in a long line for Mr Fujimori, who hoped that the presidential pardon granted in 2017 by right-wing ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (“PPK,” 2016-2018) for “humanitarian reasons”has been executed.

“Forget nor forgive”

However, the pardon was first revoked by the Peruvian Supreme Court in 2018, following the discovery of maneuvers between the Fujimorist camp in Congress and President PPK to save the latter from resigning. Then, on March 17, she was suddenly rehabilitated by a decision of the Constitutional Court, paving the way for Mr Fujimori’s release. This controversial decision had provoked the outrage of the victims of his government and of the anti-Fujimorists, who had demonstrated to “Forget nor forgive”

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In Peru, the release of ex-autocrat Alberto Fujimori sparks anger

The Inter-American Court ruled in its resolution of April 8 that the Constitutional Court’s decision to release the ex-autocrat violates the application of the United States Convention on Human Rights in the field of justice, which could lead to “to a form of impunity”. It considers that the Constitutional Court has not assessed: “the impact of such a pardon for gross violations of human rights on the right of access to justice for victims and their relatives while thousands of victims are still awaiting the ex-president’s trial in a dozen other cases.

It also held that the Constitutional Court had not submitted an expert report showing that the former president’s health had deteriorated and posed a serious risk, and thus no “imperative necessity” to get him out of jail.

victim support

The Inter-American Court’s ruling was greeted with relief by victims and human rights groups, but did not evoke much reaction in a population plagued by social conflict due to economic difficulties caused by the rise in the cost of living. There are many voices calling for an immediate change of direction from the government or the resignation of President Castillo, who is accused of negligence. Hundreds of people took to the streets again on Saturday, April 9, as the MP’s office joined the call for resignation and further cornered the head of state, who survived two attempted resignations in seven months.

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