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Misuse of "Health and Humanitarian" Reasoning to Pardon Human Rights Atrocities

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Karen Teber / km463@georgetown.edu

Amicus curiae presented to Inter-American Court of Human Rights challenging the presidential pardon of former President Alberto Fujimori in Peru

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2018) -- A prominent human rights attorney with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law has presented an amicus curiae in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights challenging the pardon of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynscki, Peru’s current president, issued the pardon on December 24, 2017. The pardon covered cases of massacres, and disappearances, for which Peru had been held responsible for in the Inter-American Court. The Inter-American Court held a hearing on the pardon February 2, 2018.

The Peruvian human rights group APRODEH asked Professor Alicia Ely Yamin, director of the Health and Human Rights Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, to write an amicus in the case. 

“The issues of whether a political pardon could be granted in cases involving these atrocities were well covered by petitioners and a number of others,” says Yamin. “However, the State claimed it was not a political pardon but a ‘humanitarian’ pardon issued for health reasons. Our amicus strongly challenges that assertion.”

The amicus presented by Yamin along with Peruvian physician, Gonzalo Gianella, and with the assistance of the O'Neill Institute researcher Laura Norato, showed that the process involving the Penitentiary Medical Board did not meet the requirements for obtaining a humanitarian pardon under Peruvian law. The Amicus noted among other things that the participation of former President Fujimori’s treating physician and surgeon in the Penitentiary Medical Board for "not having many doctors of his specialty available," the presence of five friends of Fujimori during the medical examination of the Penitentiary Medical Board, its unjustified extension and the non-mention of the doctors who made part of the Medical Board, contravened required procedures.

The Inter-American Court will issue its decision during this current session.

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University is the premier center for health law, scholarship, and policy. Celebrating its 10th year in 2017, its mission is to contribute to a more powerful and deeper understanding of the multiple ways in which law can be used to improve the public’s health, using objective evidence as a measure. The O’Neill Institute seeks to advance scholarship, science, research, and teaching that will encourage key decision-makers in the public, private, and civil society to employ the law as a positive tool for enabling more people in the United States and throughout the world to lead healthier lives. 
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