1. The Committee considered
the fourth periodic report of Peru (CCPR/C/PER/98/4), at its 1879th, 1880th
and 1881st meetings, held on 23 and 24 October 2000 and, at the 1892nd
meeting, held on 1 November 2000, adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes with satisfaction the fourth periodic report submitted
by the State party, as well as the comments on the concluding observations
and recommendations of the Committee on the third periodic report (CCPR/C/83/Add.4).
It also appreciates the delegation's willingness to establish a dialogue
with it. However, it regrets the fact that the report does not contain relevant
statistical data and does not deal adequately with the difficulties the
State party encounters in implementing the Covenant.
3. The Committee welcomed the announcement of the holding of early presidential
elections in 2001 and hopes that they will take place in an atmosphere of
transparency and freedom, in accordance with international standards.
4. The Committee welcomes
with satisfaction the fact that "faceless" courts have been abolished
as the Committee recommended (CCPR/C/79/Add.67); the fact that the offence
of terrorism has been transferred from the jurisdiction of the military
courts to that of the ordinary criminal courts; and the fact that the
state of emergency affecting areas of the national territory has been
5. The Committee regards it
as a positive sign that, under Act No. 26,926 of 21 February 1998, torture
has been characterized as an offence in the chapter of the Penal Code
on crimes against humanity.
6. In the Committee's opinion,
another favourable development is that machinery has been established
for the protection of women, such as the Office of the Ombudsman Specializing
in Women's Rights within the Ombudsman's Office and the Congressional
Commission on Women and Human Development. The Committee also expresses
its satisfaction with the adoption of civil and criminal legislation recognizing
the rights of women.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
7. The Committee again regrets the fact that Peru has not taken account
of the recommendations made following the consideration of the third periodic
report (CCPR/C/79/Add.67, paras. 20-26 and CCPR/C/79/Add.72, paras. 19-25).
Many of the subjects of concern referred to at that time continue to be
matters of concern at present.
8. The Committee considers
that, despite transitional provision 4 of the Constitution of Peru stating
that the rules relating to the rights and freedoms which the Constitution
recognizes are interpreted in accordance with the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant treaties ratified by
Peru, the rank of the Covenant in the internal legal system is not clear
and the rights recognized in it do not appear to be respected.
The Committee recommends that
the necessary legal measures should be taken to guarantee the rights recognized
in the Covenant, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 1, of the Covenant.
9. The Committee deplores
the fact that its recommendations on the 1995 amnesty laws have not been
followed and reiterates that these laws are an obstacle to the investigation
and punishment of the persons responsible for offences committed in the
past, contrary to article 2 of the Covenant. The Committee is deeply concerned
about recent information stating that the Government is sponsoring a new
general amnesty act as a prerequisite for the holding of elections.
The Committee again recommends
that the State party should review and repeal the 1995 amnesty laws, which
help create an atmosphere of impunity. The Committee urges the State party
to refrain from adopting a new amnesty act.
10. The Committee expresses
its concern about the fact that the judiciary is still being reorganized
in Peru and that the existence of the Executive Judiciary Commission,
which has broad powers, leads to interference by the Executive and undermines
the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. One of the consequences
of this reorganization is the large number of temporary judges. The Committee
is especially concerned about the dismissal of the three Constitutional
Court judges, Delia Revoredo Marsano de Mur, Manuel Aguirre Roca and Guillermo
Rey Terry, by the Congress in 1997. An impartial and independent system
of justice is essential for compliance with a number of articles of the
Covenant, notably article 14.
(a) The State party must take
the necessary measures to regularize the situation of the temporary judges,
who may be dismissed peremptorily, and to guarantee their job security.
(b) The State party must reinstate
the three Constitutional Court judges in their posts in order to normalize
(c) The State party must establish
a mechanism guaranteed by law that ensures the independence and impartiality
of judges and eliminates the possibility of the Executive interfering
in the Judiciary.
11. The Committee appreciates
the fact that Peru has released some of the persons convicted of the crime
of terrorism on insufficient evidence and has pardoned them. However,
it states once again that a pardon does not constitute full compensation
for the victims of proceedings in which the rules of due process have
been breached and in which innocent persons have been found guilty.
(a) The State party must establish
an effective mechanism for the review of all sentences imposed by the
military courts for the offences of terrorism and treason, which are defined
in terms that do not clearly state which conduct is punishable.
(b) The State party must also
release immediately all persons whose situation has now been decided by
the Pardons Board.
12. The Committee deplores
the fact that the military courts continue to have jurisdiction over civilians
accused of treason, who are tried without the guarantees provided for
in article 14 of the Covenant.
The Committee refers in this
context to its General Comment No. 13 on article 14 and emphasizes that
the jurisdiction of military courts over civilians is not consistent with
the fair, impartial and independent administration of justice.
13. As indicated during the
consideration of the third periodic report, the Committee considers that
detention for up to 15 days in cases of terrorism, drug trafficking and
espionage does not comply with article 9 of the Covenant.
It draws attention to the
State party's obligation to amend its legislation so that any person who
has been detained may be placed without delay at the disposal of the judiciary.
14. The Committee expresses
its concern about poor conditions of detention, particularly in Lurigancho
prison in Lima and the maximum security prisons of Yanamayo, in Puno,
and Challapalca, in Tacna (high-altitude prisons where visiting rights,
inter alia, are far from easy to exercise owing to the difficulty
family members have in reaching them). Conditions in these prisons do
not comply with article 10 of the Covenant.
The Committee urges the State
party to take the necessary measures to improve prison conditions in Peru.
In particular, it urges the State party to reduce the prison population
of Lurigancho prison and close down Yanamayo and Challapalca prisons.
15. The Committee expresses
its concern about the continuing practice of one year's isolation for
convicted and unconvicted prisoners, in accordance with the regulations
on the living conditions and progressive treatment of prisoners who are
difficult to rehabilitate, those awaiting trial or sentenced for ordinary
offences or for terrorism or treason. Such isolation may be extended when
the person concerned breaks a rule, however minor.
The Committee urges the State
party to review this practice, which affects the physical and mental health
of persons deprived of their liberty and constitutes cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment, thus hampering full compliance with
articles 7 and 10 of the Covenant.
16. The Committee notes with
concern that there is a growing number of complaints of systematic harassment
and death threats against journalists intended to undermine freedom of
The Committee requests the
State party to take the necessary measures to put an end to direct and
indirect restrictions on freedom of expression, to investigate all complaints
which have been filed and to bring the persons responsible to justice.
17. The Committee deplores
the methods used by Peru to take control of communications media away
from persons critical of the Government, including stripping one of them
of his nationality.
The Committee requests the
State party to eliminate these situations, which affect freedom of expression,
in accordance with article 19 of the Covenant, and to make effective remedies
available to those concerned.
18. The Committee deplores
the fact that, of the four opposition members of Parliament who were victims
of repeated acts of intimidation and about whom it requested reports from
the Government, vague replies were given only about Mr. Gustavo Molme
Llona, who has since died; no explanation was given about the three others,
Javier Díez Canseco, Henry Pease García, Jorge del Castillo and some of
their co-workers, and not a single reference was made to the investigations
conducted in order to find the persons responsible.
The intimidation of members
of Parliament, which prevents them from representing their constituents
and exercising their functions freely and independently, must cease immediately
and acts of intimidation must be investigated and the persons responsible
19. The Committee considers
the effective implementation of laws safeguarding human rights to be of
the greatest importance.
The Committee requests the
State party, in its next report, to provide detailed information on the
effective implementation of the new civil and criminal legislation recognizing
the rights of women.
20. It is a matter of concern
that abortion continues to be subject to criminal penalties, even when
pregnancy is the result of rape. Clandestine abortion continues to be
the main cause of maternal mortality in Peru.
The Committee once again states
that these provisions are incompatible with articles 3, 6 and 7 of the
Covenant and recommends that the legislation should be amended to establish
exceptions to the prohibition and punishment of abortion.
21. The Committee is concerned
about recent reports of forced sterilizations, particularly of indigenous
women in rural areas and women from the most vulnerable social sectors.
The State party must take
the necessary measures to ensure that persons who undergo surgical contraception
procedures are fully informed and give their consent freely.
22. The Committee sets 31
October 2003 as the date for the submission of the fifth periodic report
of Peru. It requests that the text of the fourth periodic report of the
State party and the present concluding observations should be published
and widely disseminated in Peru and that the next periodic report should
be made available to civil society and non-governmental organizations
working in Peru.