Perú: Justice System must comply with the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that orders Peru to abstain from pardoning Alberto Fujimori

December 1, 2023

In light of the recent publication of the resolution issued by the Peruvian Constitutional Court in the habeas corpus process that seeks the release of Alberto Fujimori Fujimori, based on a 2017 presidential pardon, the undersigned international organizations note that the Peruvian State has the obligation to comply with the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In particular, it must comply with the April 7, 2022 resolution which ordered the State of Peru to abstain from implementing the judicial decision reinstating the pardon. 


Alberto Fujimori has been convicted of crimes that have been qualified by the Peruvian Supreme Court as crimes against humanity. On December 24, 2017, then President Pedro Pablo Kuczinski granted Fujimori a pardon for humanitarian reasons, which contravenes the international commitments assumed by the Peruvian State and the rights to justice of the victims of the crimes for which Fujimori is responsible.  


Since these crimes are extremely serious acts that affect the entire international community, there are legal limits that international law imposes on the discretion of States when granting pardons and releasing from prison persons convicted of crimes against humanity.  


For this reason, in a first ruling on May 30, 2018, the Inter-American Court ordered Peru to examine Fujimori's pardon in accordance with these limits. On October 3, 2018, the Peruvian Supreme Court of Justice determined that the pardon lacked legal effect and ordered Fujimori's capture and return to prison, which was carried out at the beginning of the following year. 


On March 17, 2022, the Peruvian Constitutional Court issued a ruling reinstating the validity of the 2017 pardon. In response, on April 8, 2022, the Inter-American Court issued a resolution in which it established that this decision was contrary to the international legal order, and ruled that the Peruvian State should refrain from implementing it.  


The recent decision issued by the Constitutional Court has been interpreted by various sectors of Peruvian society, and even by a group of magistrates of the court itself in their statements to the media, as a new opportunity to review the validity of Fujimori's pardon, distorting its content and encouraging the State to ignore its international responsibilities.  


As international organizations that have been working in favor of human rights in Peru for decades, we urge the Judge of the First Preparatory Investigation Court of Ica, who is reviewing the Fujimori pardon, to comply with the resolution of the Inter-American Court of April 7, 2022, and reject Fujimori’s release.