no early release for former President Fujimori

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Alberto Fujimori will finally stay in prison. The early release of the former Peruvian autocrat was rejected on Friday April 8 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

President of Peru from 1990 to 2000, Alberto Fujimori, 83, has been serving a 25-year sentence since 2009, in particular for two massacres perpetrated by a death squad in 1991 and 1992 as part of the fight against Maoist guerrillas. of the Shining Path. Twenty-five people, including a child, were killed. The Constitutional Court of Peru ordered on March 17 the release of the former head of state, who suffers from numerous health problems. It restored the pardon granted on Christmas Eve 2017 by the then president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, which had been canceled in 2018 by the courts.

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But the Inter-American Court, located in Costa Rica, asked the Peruvian State to “refrain from performing” the decision of the Constitutional Court. Peru’s government, led by leftist President Pedro Castillo, had said it would abide by the decision of the Inter-American Court, which, according to the ruling, considers the decision of the Constitutional Court “did not assess the impact of a pardon for gross human rights violations on the right of access to justice for victims and their relatives”.

“We are reassured”

The relatives of the victims of the massacres welcomed the Court’s decision with relief. “We are reassured and we feel supported”. The courtyard “sets consistent lines in terms of human rights and the Peruvian State has the obligation to comply with them”told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Gisela Ortiz, a relative of one of the victims of the death squads.

Mr. Fujimori, the only inmate of the small Barbadillo prison located in a police barracks, had been hospitalized for eleven days in early March for heart problems. His family repeatedly requested, without success, his release for health reasons.

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His daughter, Keiko Fujimori, who lost three times in the second round of the presidential election, announced before the 2021 ballot that she would pardon her father if she were elected. Beaten by Mr. Castillo, she was sued for illegal financing of her lost presidential campaigns in 2011 and 2016.

Alberto Fujimori ruled Peru with an iron fist but faced with growing opposition, he fled in November 2000 to Japan, where his family is from, and announced that he would give up his mandate by fax. Extradited from Chile in 2007 he was convicted and imprisoned two years later.

Le Monde and AFP

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