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Group says Peru giving abuse 'amnesty'

Sept. 10, 2010 at 4:47 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Peru should amend recently adopted presidential decrees that amount to "amnesty" for abuses by the country's military and police, a human rights group says.

The decrees, issued Sept. 1 by President Alan Garcia, adopt new rules of procedure for investigations by civilian criminal courts of human rights abuses committed by military and police personnel, Human Rights Watch said in a release Friday.

"President Garcia has created a legal framework that amounts to a blanket amnesty for the vast majority of abuses by state agents in Peru's recent history, including during his first presidency," Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch said. "This means that those responsible for killings, 'disappearances' and torture will never have to pay the price for their crimes."

Peru is party to several international treaties on human rights, the rights group says, including the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The decrees violate Peru's international legal obligations by establishing a statute of limitation on crimes against humanity and by putting in place other hurdles to prosecuting military and police personnel accused of crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

Topics: Alan Garcia
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