Protecting human rights in Peru – Parliamentarians across Europe issue solidarity call

“We join UN experts in calling for a peaceful & democratic solution to the political crisis – one that takes into account the demands of the protesters.”

Open letter from Members of Parliament from Europe: Protecting human rights in Peru – resolving the political crisis peacefully

We, Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament from Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland and Latvia, are greatly concerned about the human rights situation in Peru, in the light of reports of violent repression, arbitrary killings and arrests, as well as torture and disappearances of protesters.

On 7 December 2022, the Peruvian Congress voted to impeach President Pedro Castillo after he announced his intention to dissolve Congress. Since his arrest on that day, Pedro Castillo has been in pre-trial detention on suspicion of rebellion and conspiracy. In response to this, there have been wide-scale nationwide protests against the “transitional government” under Dina Boluarte. The demonstrators are calling for fresh elections and a constituent assembly.

Since the beginning of the protests, Peruvian and international human rights organisations have reported excessive violence against the protesters and systematic human rights violations on the part of the Peruvian security forces. According to the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office, in the first three months, 66 people have died in connection with the protests and thousands have been injured. Of these victims, 46 people died in the first 50 days alone as a result of direct use of force by the police and military, according to the Peruvian National Coordinator for Human Rights (Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDDHH). The human rights organisation Amnesty International has documented repeated instances of unlawful use of lethal weapons against civilians, in particular against members of the indigenous population and rural farmworkers, and in a number of cases alleged wilful killing with gunshots to the chest, upper body or head.

We call on the “transitional government” under Dina Boluarte to put a stop to all cases of violence against civilians, to guarantee the right to peaceful and social protest, to halt the criminalisation and stigmatisation of protesters, and to facilitate the independent investigation and prosecution of human rights violations with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

We join UN experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, in calling for a peaceful and democratic solution to the political crisis, one that takes into account the demands of the protesters.

We are urgently calling for the principles and procedures of the rule of law to be upheld and for human rights to be guaranteed in the trial of deposed President Pedro Castillo. This includes the right to a fair and public trial by an independent and impartial court, as well as effective counsel on the part of and access to his lawyers. We are concerned for the health and life of Pedro Castillo and call for him to be released from prison on humanitarian and health grounds.

List of signatories:
Sevim Dagdelen, MP, Germany +
Diane Abbott, MP, United Kingdom
Ali Al-Dailami, MP, Germany
Ségolène Amiot, MP, France
Laura Boldrini, MP, Italy
Marc Johan Botenga, MEP, Belgium
Richard Burgon, MP, United Kingdom
Laura Castel Fort, MP, Spain
Clare Daly, MEP, Ireland
Özlem Demirel, MEP, Germany
Anke Domscheit-Berg, MP, Germany
Pelle Dragsted, MP, Denmark
Emmanuel Fernandes, MP, France
Andrej Hunko, MP, Germany
Gesine Lötzsch, MP, Germany
John McDonnell, MP, United Kingdom
Ana Miranda, MEP, Spain
Fabian Molina, MP, Switzerland
Bjørnar Moxnes, MP, Norway
Zaklin Nastic, MP, Germany
Bertrand Pancher, MP, France
Sandra Pereira, MEP, Portugal
Manu Pineda, MEP, Spain
Thomas Pringle, MP, Ireland
Jordi Solé, MEP, Spain
Ersilia Soudais, MP, France
Kathrin Vogler, MP, Germany
Mick Wallace, MEP, Ireland
Claudia Webbe, MP, United Kingdom
Tatjana Ždanoka, MEP, Latvia

  • You can follow Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America on Twitter here and Facebook here.
  • Sign an international solidarity statement with the struggle for democracy in Peru here.
Featured image: Protests in support of democracy in Peru. Photo credit IndustriAll

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