[WATCH] Peruvians march against Fujimori pardon

Police in Peru have fired tear gas and clashed with protestors who took to the streets to protest against a pardon granted to former leader Alberto Fujimori

(Photo: BBC News)
(Photo: BBC News)

 

Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets of downtown Lima on Monday to protest a pardon granted to former leader Alberto Fujimori.

Police in Peru have fired tear gas and clashed with thousands of protestors angry at the authorities’ decision to pardon Fujimori, called on President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to step down on Tuesday.

"No to the pardon!" chanted crowds in the capital Lima, during a second day of unrest that began on Christmas Eve.

Police have fired tear gas and clashed with protestors (Photo: BBC News)
Police have fired tear gas and clashed with protestors (Photo: BBC News)

Chanting "traitor" and "the pardon has got to go," protesters waved Peruvian flags and black-and-white photographs of the victims of a bloody counterinsurgency campaign during Fujimori's right-wing 1990-2000 government.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned Fujimori on health grounds, acknowledged the anger at his decision, but said he could "not allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison".

In a statement announcing the pardon, Kuczynski's office said a medical review had found Fujimori was suffering from "a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease" and that remaining in prison would put his life at risk.

Fujimori, 79, is serving 25 years in prison for human rights abuses and corruption. The former president, who sufferes from arrhythmia and tongue cancer, among other medical, was moved from jail to hospital just last week.

Kuczynski has denied pardoning Fujimori as part of a deal with his party last week to avoid his own impeachment, for allegedly receiving illegal payments from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Two members of President Kuczynski's party in the Peruvian Congress, Vicente Zeballos and Alberto de Belaunde, have resigned in protest at the pardon.

Meanwhile, supporters of the former president celebrated outside the city hospital where he was being treated.

Some Peruvians admire Fujimori for combating Maoist rebels, but critics considered him a corrupt dictator.

On Monday, his son Kenji tweeted a video of himself breaking the news of the pardon to his father in his hospital bed.

Rights lawyers in Lima have since said pardons and sentence reductions are not permitted for people tried for rights violation under the rules of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, which adjudicates some human rights cases in Peru and other countries that are members of the Organization of American States..

“The pardon does not conform with the Inter-American Human Rights Court ruling,” said Francisco Soberón, director of the Pro-Human Rights Association, in Lima, which represents surviving family members of the cases.

 

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