Twenty-five prisoners of conscience and 255 possible prisoners of conscience remained in prison. At least 4,000 political prisoners awaited trial or were tried under judicial procedures which continued to fall far short of international standards. Torture of political prisoners continued to be widely reported. Some 65 new cases of "disappearance" were reported, of which 55 were from 1993. The security forces were reported to have extrajudicially executed 37 people. The armed opposition continued to commit numerous human rights abuses. Significant areas of the country continued to be declared emergency zones, although there were fewer armed attacks by the clandestine Partido Comunista del Perú (Sendero Luminoso) (PCP), Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path), and the Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA), Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, during the year. However, the PCP remained militarily active in parts of the rainforest and around Lima, the capital. The government of President Alberto Fujimori did not accede to a renewed appeal by the leadership of the PCP to reach a "peace accord". A splinter group of the PCP, known as Sendero Rojo, Red Path, reiterated that it would continue the armed conflict. In February President Fujimori approved a congressional law which led to the Supreme Court of Justice deciding that the La Cantuta human rights case (see Amnesty International Report 1993) should be resolved under the jurisdiction of a military, rather than a civilian, court. Jurists and the independent Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH), Human Rights National Coordinating Committee, argued that this law violated constitutional principles, including that of the independence of the judiciary. In protest, the CNDDHH broke off talks with the government designed to improve the protection of human rights. An international commission of jurists, established by agreement between the Peruvian Ministry of Justice and the Department of State of the USA, made recommendations to bring Peru's anti-terrorism legislation into line with international human rights standards. These were rejected by the Minister of Justice as "interference in the internal affairs of Peru". In February the computerized Registro Nacional de Detenidos, National Register of Detainees, a measure designed to help prevent "disappearances", came into operation. However, by the end of 1994 the register covered only areas in and around the urban centres of Lima, Ayacucho and Tarapoto. In April the government excluded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from a battle zone in the Alto Huallaga region of the department of Huánuco. The exclusion order was justified as a measure to protect the safety of ICRC delegates. However, this meant that the ICRC could not promptly and effectively investigate allegations emanating from the area of gross human rights violations by the army. Also in April, the government used its majority in Congress to approve a motion criticizing the "irresponsible way" in which the CNDDHH made these allegations public. In August the government established the National Human Rights Council, "a multisectoral body responsible for promotion, coordination, dissemination and advisory services for the protection and exercise of the fundamental rights of the individual". In November the Ley de Arrepentimiento, Repentance Law, was abolished. This exempted suspects of terrorism-related offences from prosecution and commuted the sentence of those convicted, in exchange for information leading to the arrest of other suspects. The Repentance Law had been widely criticized by independent human rights organizations for allowing uncorroborated evidence to be used by the courts to secure the conviction of political prisoners. No investigation into the alleged existence of a "death squad" within the National Intelligence Service was known to have been initiated by the end of year (see Amnesty International Report 1994). In November the UN Committee against Torture criticized the Government of Peru for not implementing legislative, administrative and judicial measures which conform to standards enshrined in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by Peru in 1988. By the end of the year 25 prisoners of conscience, and at least 255 possible prisoners of conscience, continued to be held on terrorism-related charges. For example, in September María Elena Foronda and Oscar Díaz Barboza, both environmental activists, were detained and charged with "terrorism". They were prisoners of conscience. The charges were based on uncorroborated accusations against them by a prisoner who made use of the Repentance Law. Prisoners of conscience Pelagia Salcedo Pizarro and her husband Juan Carlos Chuchón Zea were detained in December 1992 by the police and allegedly forced under torture to admit to storing explosives. In 1993 a military court sentenced them to 30 years' imprisonment for treason. Their sentence was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Council of Military Justice. In August the Supreme Court of Justice annulled the 20-year sentences passed on prisoners of conscience Rómulo Mori Zavaleta and Wagner Cruz Mori (see Amnesty International Report 1994). Following this decision, the prisoners were released in November after being absolved by the Lambayeque High Court. Eighteen prisoners of conscience were released during the year. Among them were Juan José Cholán Ramírez (see Amnesty International Report 1994) and his cousin, César Ramírez Yalta. Thousands of political prisoners charged with terrorism-related offences were held pending trial or were brought before secret civilian and military courts, using procedures which fell far short of international standards. Defence lawyers were prohibited from calling as witnesses members of the security forces involved in the detention and interrogation of the accused and all trials, whether under civilian or military jurisdiction, continued to be held in camera. According to their defence lawyer, twin brothers Rodolfo Gerbert and Rodolfo Dynnik Asencios, charged in April 1992 with terrorism-related offences under articles 319 and 320 of the Peruvian Criminal Code, were absolved of the charges by an examining judge. However, they were each subsequently sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment by a high court for offences defined in articles 321 and 322. These new charges were not, as required by law, examined by a lower court. In September 1993, following an appeal, the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the charges and sentences. Thousands of political prisoners were forced to wait for unduly long periods before their trials began. For example, in October 1994 Sybila Arredondo Guevara was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for terrorism-related offences, after waiting over four years in jail for her trial to open. Torture and ill-treatment were reported to have been inflicted by the security forces on most prisoners suspected of terrorism-related offences. The government acknowledged in February that "agents of the State resort to [torture]". In March Francisco Alejos Murillo and three other leaders of an independent civil defence patrol in Sihuas, department of Ancash, were detained and reportedly tortured by members of the army and the police. After 10 days in incommunicado military detention, the four were transferred into the custody of the police. One of the leaders was immediately released. According to Francisco Alejos' statement, he was tortured, first by army personnel and then by the police, to force him to admit to being a member of the MRTA. Three months later a court unconditionally released him and the two other detainees. In April Ulises Espinoza Sánchez, governor for the district of Chavín de Pariarca, Huamalies province, Huánuco department, was detained by members of the army and reportedly "brutally beaten". The governor had been processing complaints by local people of thieving and looting by army patrols. In both these cases, complaints of torture were filed with the authorities, but by the end of the year those responsible had not been brought to justice. No further progress was reported in judicial investigations into the deaths in military custody in 1993 of Alberto Calipuy Valverde and Rosenda Yauri Ramos. Prisoner of conscience Juan Abelardo Mallea Tomailla was released in April, but allegations that he had been tortured while in police custody remained unresolved (see Amnesty International Report 1994). At least 10 "disappearances" were reported. On 19 March Jorge Pérez Rodríguez and Eloy Escudero Domínguez reportedly "disappeared" following their detention by members of the marines in Puerto Inca, province of Atayala, Ucayalli department. In late January a list of 55 people who "disappeared" in the custody of the security forces in the department of Huánuco between January and November 1993 was issued by a senior prosecutor to the Attorney General. In the light of this new information, claims made by the government that "disappearances" had significantly diminished in 1993 were called into question. Extrajudicial executions by the security forces continued to be reported. For example, in January Víctor Ramírez Arias was reported to have been extrajudicially executed by an army officer near Lima. Separate investigations into this incident were initiated by military and civil courts. By the end of the year the Supreme Court of Justice had yet to rule which of these courts should have jurisdiction over the case. In April the army was alleged to have extrajudicially executed 31 peasants in three separate incidents during a major offensive launched against PCP strongholds located on the left bank of the Alto Huallaga, in Huánuco department. In the wake of the allegations, representatives of the military and of the Congressional Human Rights and Pacification Commission claimed that human rights violations during the operation could not be ruled out. The results of separate investigations initiated by the military, Congress and an ad hoc prosecutor had not been made public by the end of the year. In February the Supreme Court of Justice, in a decision which was widely regarded as having been politically dictated by the executive and the military, voted in favour of the La Cantuta case being resolved under the jurisdiction of a military court. In the wake of this decision, nine members of the army linked to the case were convicted and sentenced by the Supreme Council of Military Justice to terms of imprisonment ranging between one and 20 years for the illegal killing of a professor and nine students in 1992. However, one civilian and at least 10 high-ranking officers accused by dissident military officers and human rights defenders of being implicated in the case were never investigated by an independent judicial body. In September the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the convictions of five police officers sentenced in November 1993 for the unlawful killings of brothers Rafael and Emilio Gómez Paquiyauri and student Freddy Rodríguez Pighi (see Amnesty International Reports 1992 and 1994). The PCP continued to carry out a policy of deliberate and arbitrary killings against civilians. According to a report by an indigenous organization, on 27 March one boy and seven men from the community of Alto Chichineri, Satipo province, department of Junín, were detained, tortured and then killed by members of the PCP. On 20 June David Alberto Chacaliaza, an activist in the shanty town of Huaycán, on the outskirts of Lima, was shot dead in full view of witnesses. The killing was widely attributed to the PCP. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities on numerous occasions to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally and to bring anti-terrorism legislation into line with international human rights standards. The organization also called on the authorities to investigate thoroughly all human rights violations, and to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice before civilian courts. In March Amnesty International noted the conviction of nine members of the army in the La Cantuta case. However, the organization expressed concern that other high-ranking officers and one civilian implicated in the killing had not been investigated by an independent judicial authority. In April the Minister of Justice rejected Amnesty International's request for talks with President Fujimori and other high-level authorities, on the grounds that "we are not prepared to discuss matters which are internal to the country". In the event, talks were held in May with the presidents of Congress and of the Congressional Human Rights and Pacification Commission. The President of Congress told the delegation that the government would be setting up a "commission of notable jurists" to review alleged miscarriages of justice in terrorism-related cases. However, by the end of year no such commission appeared to be in operation. Amnesty International wrote in May to President Fujimori expressing grave concern about extrajudicial executions reported to have taken place in the Alto Huallaga during April. The organization recommended that the Public Ministry name an ad hoc prosecutor to investigate the allegations, and that a presidential commission of notables be appointed to ensure the impartiality and independence of the investigations. In November the organization published a report, Peru: Amnesty International's concerns about torture and ill-treatment. The report urged the government to take all measures necessary for the prevention and eradication of torture. In an oral statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights in February Amnesty International included reference to its concerns in Peru.

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