Peru's convicted ex-president Alberto Fujimori pardoned

Peru's Jailed Former Authoritarian Leader Fujimori Gets Medical Pardon

Imprisoned former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has been pardoned by incumbent leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Of Peruvian-Japanese heritage, Fujimori ended his presidency in 2000 by fleeing to Japan to escape the huge corruption and human rights scandal that had enveloped his administration, and the Peruvian Parliament impeached him and removed him from office.

The move comes a day after the former ruler was rushed to hospital on Sunday after suffering a severe drop in blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythm.

His daughter Keiko Fujimori, who narrowly lost Peru's last presidential election to Kuczynski, leads the opposition Popular Force party. The protesters clashed with police officers, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, the state-run Andina news agency reported.

A statement from President Kuczynski's office said he had made a decision to grant a "humanitarian pardon to Alberto Fujimori and seven other people in similar condition", without naming the others. Members of the party, Popular Force, are known as "Fujimoristas" due to their support of the former president.

Fujimori's son Kenji, who is also a Congressman, thanked the president in a tweet for his "noble and magnanimous gesture" on behalf of the Fujimori family, adding "we are eternally grateful to you".

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He later tweeted a video of himself and his father from inside the hospital, reading the presidential pardon together on a mobile phone.

Fujimori is a controversial figure in Peru, having been accused by many of staging a "self-coup" to transform the country into a dictatorship and being at the centre of a vast corruption network, while others claim that he ended a serious nationwide economic crisis and crushed the Shining Path guerrilla insurgency. In 2009, a special supreme court tribunal sentenced the former president to 25 years in prison for authorizing the operation of a death squad responsible for killing civilians.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch in the Americas, tweeted: "I regret Fujimori's humanitarian pardon".

One lawmaker from Kuczynski's own party announced on Sunday that he will resign from the party because of the pardon.

What was Fujimori convicted of?

Fujimori, 79, is serving a 25-year sentence for graft and human rights crimes.



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