Heeding Peru's Lesson: Paying Reparations to Detainees of Anti-Terrorism Laws
Human Rights Commentary, Vol. 88, pp. 88-98, 2006
11 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 28, 2008
This article examines how Peru's anti-terrorism legislation erected as part of its 20 year internal armed conflict against insurgent groups led to systematic violations of human rights. The defects of these laws, particularly those related to the lack of procedural due process rights, resulted in the arrest and detention of thousands of people, the majority of whom were eventually found innocent and released. These laws were eventually ruled unconstitutional by Peru's Constitutional Tribunal. However, before then, numerous people detained under the laws submitted their complaints to international human rights monitoring bodies such as the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and Court. Decisions by these institutions provide detailed guidance on legislative defects that per se violate non-derogable human rights, while also recognizing that those detained under these laws have a right to reparations. The author argues these precedents put other nations on notice as they design their own anti-terrorism legislation.
Keywords: reparations, human rights, international law, anti-terrorism laws
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