Amnesty International launch campaign to bring Fujimori to justice
31 January 2006
Amnesty International has launched a campaign to support human rights campaigners in Peru to bring Alberto Fujimori to justice. They call for him either to face trial in Chile or be extradited to Peru for trial.
The campaign outlines the widespread and systematic nature of the human rights violations that were committed under the government of Fujimori between 1990 and 2000 and says they constitute crimes against humanity under international law.
During Fujimori’s term in office, Amnesty International documented hundreds of cases of "disappearances" and extra judicial executions. In addition, torture and ill treatment by the Peruvian security forces throughout the 10 years that Fujimori was in power were widespread.
The AI initiative calls on Chile - where Fujimori has been detained since November last year - to exercise its “jurisdiction to prosecute and punish crimes against humanity, including torture, and to cooperate in the detection, arrest, extradition and punishment of persons implicated in these crimes, regardless of their nationality and of where the crimes were committed“.
Amnesty International says the Chilean authorities must either honour any extradition request from Peru, or exercise their duty to investigate and prosecute Alberto Fujimori in Chile.
Peru's government lodged its formal request for extradition on 3 January, citing 12 charges from corruption to human rights abuses.
The charges include using a death squad to kill 25 people in two incidents known as La Cantuta and Barrios Altos, illegal phone tapping, bribery and the payment of more than $15m to Fujimori's intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.
Mr Fujimori, who says the charges against him are politically motivated, is a divisive figure in Peruvian society. To some, he was the saviour of a country on the verge of economic collapse and racked by political violence. To others, he was a corrupt, authoritarian strongman who rode roughshod over the country's democratic institutions.
The campaign already has 12,650 signatures – if you would like to add yours and find out more visit: www.amnesty.org.uk/action/fujimori.shtml
Meanwhile, the National Election Authorities (JNE) has rejected Fujimori’s registration to run in the up-coming Presidential elections. They cite Peruvian law, which states that people prohibited from taking office - as Fujimori is - are not allowed to run as Presidential candidates.