Thousands of Peruvians protest former President Fujimori's pardon

Peaceful Assembly

Throughout December 2017, several mass protests took place in Peru, including marches against corruption under the slogan "Que se vayan todos!" ("Throw them all out!”). The march against corruption in Lima on 20th December, however, was repressed by security forces and at least seven demonstrators were reportedly detained. 

On 24th December 2017, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski officially pardoned former president Alberto Fujimori, a move that sparked protests across the country. Fujimori was serving a 25-year sentence for acts of corruption and human rights violations committed during his mandate. Large-scale marches and protests have been held since the pardon was granted. On 25th December, thousands gathered to demand the former president be returned to prison and complete his sentence. On 28th December, a new march gathered even greater participation than the two previous ones had that month. 

On 11th January 2018, the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers and several human rights groups organised the fourth national protest against the pardon under the slogan of: "El indulto es un insulto"("The pardon is an insult"). Protesters carried large flags and posters and were accompanied by artistic and musical performances.

In a statement, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed deep concern over the presidential pardon and stated that:

"The pardon took place amidst a political crisis in Peru that has been the subject of consternation; in particular because of its serious effects on the protection of human rights in the country. Such context hinders the decision from being transparent and unquestionable. The consequences of such a measure are particularly serious for persons, groups and historically excluded collectivists, as well as for the victims of such serious human rights violations and their family members".

Expression

Peruvian media organisations expressed concern over a legislative initiative regarding the allocation of state advertising that is currently being discussed in Parliament. The proposed legislation would prohibit state advertising in private media. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) claims the proposal "harms the right to free competition". Roberto Rock, president of IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, declared in regards to the law that instead of limiting private media's access to advertising,

"the State must offer the media the conditions to develop its work under laws that give transparency to the criteria for allocation of advertising".

While covering the protests (mentioned under Peaceful Assembly) over Fujimori's pardon, it was reported that Peruvian television cameraman, Jesús Saavedra Heredia, was attacked by a police officer.