For Immediate Release
In New York: Riptide Communications, Inc.
In San Francisco, Elizabeth Chertoff, Media Coordinator, 415-544-0444, ext. 303
Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori Convicted of Human Rights Violations
San Francisco Human Rights Organization Call Verdict Victory for Rule of Law Over Rule of Men
WASHINGTON - The Center for Justice and Accountability
(CJA), a San Francisco-based human rights organization, praised today's
guilty verdict against former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori, as a
victory in the struggle to bring human rights abusers to justice. Fujimori was
sentenced to 25 years. The historic verdict marks the first time that an elected
head of state has been convicted of human rights violations by a national court
in his own country.
711-page decision, the three- judge panel found Fujimori guilty for his role supervising
the murder, kidnapping, and torture of civilians by a death squad waging a
counterinsurgency campaign in the early 1990s.
Executive Director Pamela Merchant said, "The
Supreme Court of Peru's
conviction of former President Alberto Fujimori is an extraordinary example of
the rule of law prevailing over the rule of men. Peru, a young and
fragile democracy recovering from years of violence, sets an important example
for all nations: a real democracy is only possible where no one is above the
law and the victims can achieve justice. We applaud today's ruling and
the hope it brings to thousands of victims and their representatives working to
worked closely with Peruvian NGOs representing the victims, including APRODEH,
the Pro-Human Rights Association. On August 2008, CJA's international attorney,
Almudena Bernabeu, traveled to Lima
to prepare two expert witnesses who testified for the prosecution. Jose
Antonio Martin Pallin, an emeritus justice of the Spanish Supreme court, testified
on state terrorism and state crimes, and Kate Doyle, from the National Security Archives,
testified on declassified U.S. documents that provided
information on human rights abuses carried out under the Fujimori government. In addition, CJA has briefed numerous
legal issues for the prosecution including procedural rules on the
admissibility of declassified documents in Spanish and U.S. law.
partnership with the team grew out of its work holding Peruvian human rights
abusers who had retired to the U.S.
responsible for their roles in a major massacre. CJA has brought two civil lawsuits in the U.S.
against former members of the Peruvian military who have sought safe haven
here. Both were charged for their role in the Accomarca Massacre where 69
civilians were tortured and killed.
CJA is a
San Francisco-based human rights organization dedicated to deterring torture
and other severe human rights abuses around the world and advancing the rights
of survivors to seek truth, justice and redress. CJA uses litigation to
hold perpetrators individually accountable for human rights abuses, develop
human rights law, and advance the rule of law in countries transitioning from
periods of abuse.
More information on CJA's Peru
cases can be viewed on the CJA website at www.cja.org.
The Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) is an international human rights organization dedicated to ending torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world and advancing the rights of survivors to seek truth, justice and redress.