Fujimori’s daughter faces criticism for saying she would pardon him if elected president

Human rights activists unleashed heavy criticism Tuesday on Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori for her suggestion that she would not hesitate to spring her father from prison if she is elected president.

“The congresswoman must be reminded that people who have committed crimes against humanity and have violated human rights, crimes for which her father will be condemned, cannot be pardoned or amnestied nor can they receive any type of political, penitentiary or legislative benefit. This is the core of the matter,” said human rights lawyer Carlos Rivera.

Alberto Fujimori is on trial for crimes against humanity for allegedly sanctioning the Colina Group paramilitary death squad that killed 25 people in two incidents known as Barrios Altos and La Cantuta. He also faces various other charges for corruption, bribery, illegal phone tapings, and misconduct during his decade-long presidency.

His eldest daughter, Keiko Fujimori, said Sunday she “would not hesitate” to grant her father amnesty if she wins the 2011 presidential elections.

“Fujimori has committed crimes of forced disappearances, and this type of crime cannot be pardoned. The Human Rights Court, in its 2001 sentence in the Barrios Altos case, declared that crimes against humanity and violations of human rights cannot be pardoned or amnestied,” Rivera said. “So someone should tell the congresswoman that the pardon will remain a wish because it’s not viable and it’s not legal.”

Fujimori enacted a controversial amnesty law in 1995 that exonerated all military, police and civilians for any human rights violations committed between May 1982 and June 1995 if they were associated to the counterinsurgency war. The law, argued to be necessary for “national reconciliation,” led to the release of those convicted for the La Cantuta and Barrios Altos massacres.

But in September 2001, the Human Rights Court, at the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, made an interpretative sentence in which it announced that Fujimori’s Amnesty Laws were without any legal force.

Legislators from different political parties also strongly reacted to Keiko Fujimori’s comments.

She should think about respecting existing Peruvian laws, said Congressman Juvenal Ordóñez, of the leftist nationalist bloc, rather than her family’s personal interests. “I think that we should evaluate the possibility of writing up a bill that makes it illegal for a person who becomes president to pardon their family members,” he added.

With this type of comment Keiko Fujimori “is committing hara-kiri with a large part of the population,” said Congressman Yonhy Lescano.

Keiko Fujimori is a 32 year-old business administrator and is the probable presidential candidate for Fujimori’s right-wing party “Alliance for the Future”.

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