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    Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is considering releasing jailed dictator Alberto Fujimori. | Photo: EFE

Fujimori, who served as president from 1990 to 2000, was convicted in 2007 for his role in a death squad that targeted left-wing guerrillas while he was in power.

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is “reviewing the procedures” to potentially grant a pardon to former dictator Alberto Fujimori, currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights crimes and corruption.

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Kuczynski said Saturday that “the Constitution is crystal clear” about the president's power to grant pardon to a prisoner, but the “procedures, laws and articles” were still under review.

“We'll see what happens,” he told radio RPP, responding to the controversy raised by similar comments he made to the press during a trip to Argentina the day before. “This is a strictly medical issue, not a legal one,” he said, explaining that a medical commission, not a judicial one, will make the final decision.

Avelino Guillén, who witnessed Fujimori's sentence as then attorney general, lamented the fact that Kuczynski's comments coincided with the 25-year anniversary of the massacre of Barios Altos — one of the many human rights violations of which Kuczynski was found guilty.

On November 3, 1993, officers from Peru's intelligence services attacked a local party and killed 15 civilians, including a child, mistaking the party for a subversive meeting of left-wing activists. 

Two weeks ago, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein recommended Peru seek international medical opinion before any pardon is given to Fujimori.

Kuczynski had previously spoken publicly about the issue, only to later say that he was not reviewing any proposal. "Crimes against humanity, along with war crimes and genocide, are crimes that concern the international community as a whole; in other words, international crimes," he told lawmakers.

In July, a court rejected efforts by Fujimori's family to have him freed. In 2013, the government of former President Ollanta Humala had denied humanitarian pardon to Fujimori because a medical report determined he did not meet the conditions. Likewise, in 2016, requests by Keiko to review her father's case were also denied.

Faced with the prospect of Fujimori's release, hundreds of Peruvian women have taken to the streets as a reminder that he still stands accused of the mass sterilization of poor, rural, indigenous women during his time in office via a controversial health program.

The National Reproductive Health and Family Planning Program has long been denounced by human rights organizations  as a thinly disguised means of population control within impoverished communities.


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