Monday, 1 December 2008

Peru: Law Threatens HROs

Otto at Inca Kola News has rightfully picked up on this very worrying news from Peru; and he's also correct when he points out that it's not making the English-language media. Here's the proposed law, translated by Otto and in its original:
Article 96: Dissolution for attacks against public order and other causes. The Public Ministry may seek via the judiciary the dissolution of any association whose activities or ends are or result in being contrary to the public order, to its good custom, to national sovereignty, to state security or to the international principle of non-interference in internal affairs. ...At any time during the process the judge may dictate cautionary measures that totally or partially suspend the activities of the association, or may designate an intervenor for the same.

"Artículo 96º.- Disolución por atentar contra el orden público y otras causales. El Ministerio Público puede solicitar judicialmente la disolución de la asociación cuyas actividades o fines sean o resulten contrarios al orden público, a las buenas costumbres, a la soberanía nacional, a la seguridad del Estado, o al principio internacional de no intromisión en asuntos internos. (…). En cualquier estado del proceso puede el Juez dictar medidas cautelares suspendiendo total o parcialmente las actividades de la asociación, o designando un interventor de las mismas".

I do not like the way things are going in Peru recently (and not just Peru - some of the laws passed in my own home country regarding surveillance in the name of "security" and "anti-terrorism" are deeply worrying too.... but we're talking about Peru right now), and this is a huge threat to the freedom of human rights organisations to carry out their work. First there was the pressure put upon APRODEH for making a simple factual statement; then there were the stories of HROs being harassed when they are too troublesome for the state. If this law is passed, there will be no need to issue veiled threats or overwhelm with bureaucracy... the group can simply be closed.

Peru's human rights organisations are understandably alarmed. The Instituto de Defensa Legal classified the move as "immoral", while a spokesperson for APRODEH called Prime Minister Simon Yehude a traitor.

Simon traiciona a ONGs con mordaza (La Primera)

Yehude, for his part, states that:
"I am a friend of the NGOs. I'm a defender of the NGOs and of transparency. What we are doing is... if there is something here that people don't understand, it will be rectified. What we are doing is protecting the State from any kind of external interference."

Le llueven criticas a proyecto mordaza (La Primera)

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