A pardon from Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to former president Alberto Fujimori has sparked protests in the country. Fujimori, 79, was transported from prison to a hospital on Saturday. The former president was pardoned on health grounds but the decision has not been welcomed by many Peruvians, who quickly took the streets to protest.
Kuczynski has denied that this has anything to do with him barely surviving an impeachment last week. Fujimori, who served as Peru’s president from 1990 to 2000, was serving 25 years in prison for corruption and human rights abuses. Reports in 2012 revealed that his family had asked for a pardon due to his medical problems. A pardon was reportedly rejected in 2013.
The decision has sparked protests in the country, with police clashing with protesters in Lima and other cities. Two members of Kuczynski’s political party decided to resign after the news.
A video tweeted by Alberto Fujimori’s son shows him reading the news to his father, who can be seen sitting on a hospital bed. Some of his supporters stood outside the hospital where he is being treated to celebrate the news.
On Saturday, President Kuczynski’s office released a statement saying that he had decided to grant the former president and seven others a humanitarian pardon. The seven people are said to have health problems but their names were not revealed. The statement mentions that doctors had determined that the former president suffers from an incurable illness. Fujimori was taken from prison to a hospital and has been there since. His son, Kenji Fujimori, recently said that his father would probably not be transported home for several days.
The decision has been celebrated by some of his supporters but it has also caused anger among some of the population. The pardon has also raised questions on whether a deal was made between the two sides. Earlier this month, Kuczynski was linked to the Odebrecht scandal and a few days ago, parties initiated the process to impeach him.
Kuczynski survived as the impeach process was eight votes short. 79 voted in favor, 19 against it and ten lawmakers didn’t show up. The vote came after ten hours of debate by lawmakers. Mr. Kuczynski has denied that the pardon had anything to do with the impeachment results.
Alberto Fujimori was arrested in Chile in 2005 after trying to return to Peru to run for president. In April 2009, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison over human rights abuses. He was later sentenced to six more years in prison for corruption.