IACHR CALLS ON PERU TO TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
During its 126th regular session, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received information regarding threats and other acts of harassment against human rights defenders in Peru. The Committee calls upon the Peruvian State to adopt such measures as are necessary to prevent a recurrence of acts of this kind. Accordingly, the Commission wishes to recall OAS General Assembly resolution 1671, adopted on June 7, 1999, in which it invoked member states to protect “the individuals, groups, and organizations of civil society” dedicated to “the promotion, observance, and protection of fundamental rights and liberties.” The Commission also received information regarding Draft Law 25/2006-PE, which would amend Law 27692 on the establishment of the Peruvian International Cooperation Agency (APCI) and which, if passed, would have a negative impact on the work of human rights organizations.
Separately, the Commission received information regarding the presentation to Congress of draft laws that could extend application of the death penalty to cases not currently contemplated by law and which had triggered extensive debate in public opinion, civil society, and government circles. With respect to these draft laws, the Commission deems it pertinent to recall that Article 4, paragraph 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights states that: “In countries that have not abolished the death penalty, it may be imposed only for the most serious crimes and pursuant to a final judgment rendered by a competent court and in accordance with a law establishing such punishment, enacted prior to the commission of the crime. The application of such punishment shall not be extended to crimes to which it does not presently apply,” while paragraph 3 adds: “The death penalty shall not be reestablished in states that have abolished it.”
During this session, a hearing was held on the National Human Rights Plan at which the petitioners expressed their concern at the implementation of the plan. The Government expressed willingness to “re-launch” the National Human Rights Plan and to broaden the scope of the consultation process. The IACHR has closely monitored the National Plan since it was adopted on December 11, 2005 and has signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Government of Peru. It considers that it is of the utmost importance that all the initiatives undertaken by the Government be geared to strengthening national mechanisms to protect and promote the human rights of all the inhabitants of Peru.
An audience was also held on follow-up to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), in which the organizations presenting the petition commented on the degree of compliance with those recommendations, particularly with respect to justice, acts of reparation, and institutional reforms. The IACHR has kept close track of compliance with the recommendations of the CVR and considers it crucial to achieve their full implementation.
The IACHR attaches great importance to the adoption of implementing regulations for Law No. 28592, which established a comprehensive plan for compensating the victims of the violence that occurred in Peru between 1980 and 2000, and to the appointment of the officials who will form the Council for Reparation, charged with drawing up the Consolidated Register of Victims (RUV). Further, the Commission was pleased to receive the ratification by the Peruvian State of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The IACHR considers that this ratification is a major step forward in this area.
Washington, D.C., November 3, 2006