Slander campaign against APRODEH

06/05/2008
Press release

Your Excellency:

We write to express our deep concern about the threatening remarks made by representatives of your government against the Association of Human Rights (APRODEH), a Peruvian non-governmental organization with a proven record of commitment to democracy and the rule of law in your country. These statements stand in stark contrast to the progress made by Peru since 2001 in acknowledging past crimes and improving respect for human rights.

Vice President Luis Giampietri has declared that Mr. Francisco Soberon, founder of APRODEH is a "notorious rabble rouser who will be held accountable one day by the Peruvian State". Second Vice President Lourdes Mendoza has called for the closure of APRODEH. In your own declarations to the press you have referred to APRODEH’s work as "treason to the fatherland". Such attacks create a dangerous environment for human rights defenders, some of whom are already conducting their work under death threats due to their role in the trial of former President Alberto Fujimori.

Since founding APRODEH, Mr. Soberon has played a central role in investigating and documenting human rights violations during the 1980-2000 conflict. Most recently he has been a driving force behind the prosecution of former President Fujimori. Importantly, APRODEH and Mr. Soberon have consistently condemned terrorist actions and use of violence by any group. He and the members of APRODEH enjoy the respect of international organizations around the world for their over two decades of public service. Mr. Soberon has received numerous awards recognizing the importance of his human rights work, including the National Order of Merit Award from the French Government

Attacks against Mr. Soberon and APRODEH are

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