REPUBLIC OF PERU: Call for Fujimori's immediate return to Peru to be tried for his responsibility in massacres and other human rights violations

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  4. REPUBLIC OF PERU: Call for Fujimori's immediate return to Peru to be tried for his responsibility in massacres and other human rights violations
11 Jul 2007
[Japan Section]
Topic: Individual at risk
1.Suspected guilty of serious crimes, Fujimori should
be facing not the Japanese Diet but the Peruvian court
2.The international community is questioning the sincerity
of Japan's stance regarding observation of the law and
confrontation of serious crime
3.The People's New Party must immediately cease any activities
inhibiting justice, such as moves to bring Fujimori to Japan
4.Should Fujimori enter Japan, the Japanese government must
respect the judicial processes of Chile and Peru and
extradite Fujimori to Peru
■On June 28, 2007 former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori announced his intention to run in Japanese Upper House elections. Fujimori is, however, wanted by Peruvian authorities to face charges in relation to serious crimes including murder and forced disappearances committed during his time as President. Fujimori escaped from prosecution by fleeing to Japan in November, 2000. During his time in Japan, he continued to ignore a notice for arrest issued by Interpol (ICPO) and the Supreme Court of Peru, shirking the proper enforcement of the law. Fujimori entered Chile in November 2006, and is there currently awaiting a court ruling on Peruvian extradition orders. The court is expected to reach a decision soon.

Fujimori has been indicted on numerous charges, including involvement in the Barios Altos massacre (1991) where 15 residents of an apartment complex in a poor suburb of Peru's capital city Lima were murdered, and the La Cantuta incident (1992) where nine students and a professor were abducted and killed. Families of the victims have been crying out for justice for over 15 years.

It has been reported that one of Fujimori's campaign pledges is to work through the North Korean (DPRK) abduction issue, however Fujimori himself has been charged by Peruvian courts with involvement in abductions in Peru. With the support of the military, Fujimori carried out a coup and ruled briefly as dictator. Even after democracy was restored, Fujimori used the National Intelligence Service and the Supreme Court to oppress opposition, and went as far as to create a biased electoral system. Additionally, after Fujimori's fall from power it came to light that corruption within his government was of an extent rarely seen in the history of Peru. With this kind of record, what can Fujimori really do for democracy in Japan as a member of the Upper House? Fujimori must realize that he should be going not to the Japanese Diet, but to the Peruvian courts.

■Fujimori retained his status as president throughout the coup, and fled to Japan to escape charges of inciting abduction and murder. The international society is watching how Japanese society will deal with a person suspected of such violations of law and human rights.

Numerous countries including Germany and Italy have announced that if Fujimori enters their country, he will be held and extradited. International human rights groups*1, international bodies such as the EU Parliament*2 and Parlamento Latinoamericano*3, NGOs such as Transparency International*4 and internationally renowned individuals*5 have repeatedly called for Fujimori's extradition and prosecution.Regarding the aforementioned La Cantuta incident, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights concluded that crimes committed by the death squads could not have happened without the knowledge or orders from Fujimori and high level officials of the government and military, and note that the main reason justice has not been served is because Fujimori has not faced trial*6. Additionally, in early June, Chilean prosecutors turned in a formal statement saying that of 13 of Peru's extradition requests, 12 do warrant extradition (the one which does not having been judged to have exceeded the statute of limitations). The Barios Altos massacre and La Cantuta incident are included in these 13 requests. Despite this, many people in Japan continue to irresponsibly insist that legal action against Fujimori is unfounded.

■During Fujimori's stay in Japan, the citizens and government of Japan did very little to help realize justice in Peru. Japan has in fact been an obstacle for those Peruvians seeking justice. While the extradition process continues in Chile, Japan should at least not act to hinder the proper development of this process.It has been reported that Shizuka Kamei, deputy leader of the People's New Party met with Foreign Minister Aso at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request the Japanese government to put pressure on the Chilean government to enable Fujimori to leave Chile. This act of openly intervening in the legal processes of another country, and assisting impunity for crimes in violation of human rights is not acceptable under international law, and moreover should not be accepted on moral grounds.

■In relation to the extradition trial of Fujimori in Chile, the Japanese government's stance is to oversee the legal processes, which we welcome. Whatever decision the Chilean court makes regarding the extradition of Fujimori, the Japanese government, either officially or unofficially, should not pressure the Chilean government in any way. As Japanese citizens, we must continue to monitor the actions of the Japanese government so that such interference does not happen.Moreover, if Fujimori for whatever reason comes back to Japan, he should be extradited to Peru as requested by the Peruvian government. Japan should not be allowed under any circumstances to continue to provide Fujimori, who is trying to escape to Japan to avoid being forced to take responsibility for his actions, with a safe refuge.

*1 For example, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDK etc.
*2 EU resolution RC-B6-0055/2206 (January 19, 2006)
*3 Parlamento Latinoamericano resolution (November 30, 2001)
*4 International NGO working to prevent corruption. The head office is located in Berlin.
*5 According to reports, former US president Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentinian human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner), ex-Costa Rican president Oscar Arias (Nobel Peace Prize winner), Gunter Grass (German writer, Nobel Prize winner) have sent letters asking for Fujimori's extradition.
*6 Paragraph number 96 and paragraph number 147 of the the November 26, 2006 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling on the La Cantuta incident . Full judgment can be downloaded in English and Spanish from the website below

The Japan Network for Bringing Justice to Fujimori

Network Members:
Human Rights and Justice in Peru Kansai group
Amnesty International Japan
Peace Boat Peru Campaign 2001
Peru Democratization Solidarity Network (RESODEP)

Bring Justice to Fujimori ? Bringing Justice for Victims of Massacre in Peru- (Japanese) Edited by the Japan Network for Bringing Justice to Fujimori, published by Gendai Jinbunsha (GENJIN), 2004

For more information on the international notice for the arrest of former President Fujimori:

July 11, 2007

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