Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), 85, was released on Wednesday (December 6th) from prison where he had been serving a 2009-year sentence for crimes against humanity since 25, AFP journalists found.

Alberto Fujimori, dressed in a black jacket and wearing a mask over his face, left Barbadillo prison, east of Lima, at 18:29 p.m. local time (23:29 GMT) in a grey van that slowly cut through the crowd of supporters who had come to greet him.

He was accompanied by his daughter Keiko, a three-time unsuccessful candidate in the second round of the presidential election, and his son Kenji, a businessman, who had repeatedly called for their father's release. "Our hearts are overflowing with joy. Because this man has been unjustly imprisoned," Nikita, who came to the front of the prison, told AFP.

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The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ordered the "immediate" release of the controversial former president, who suffers from recurrent respiratory and neurological problems, including facial paralysis.

The former strongman of Peru had been found guilty of the deaths of 25 people in two massacres perpetrated by an army commando as part of what had been called the war on terror (1980-2000) of the far-left guerrillas.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Wednesday unsuccessfully called on Peru to "refrain from executing" the Constitutional Court's decision "until the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has all the necessary elements to analyze whether this decision complies with the conditions" of its previous judgments, according to a resolution of the body published on its website. But Dina Boluarte's government allowed her to be released.

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The Peruvian Association for Human Rights (APRODEH) condemned the decision, calling it a snub to the Inter-American Court.

Restored Grace

The Constitutional Court's order, which cannot be appealed, reinstates the pardon granted to Alberto Fujimori in 2017 and revoked two years later by the Supreme Court.

The court had already ordered the release of Alberto Fujimori in March 2022 but the Inter-American Court of Human Rights had asked the state to "refrain from executing" this decision and the country, then led by leftist President Pedro Castillo, had this time complied with the decision.

Alberto Fujimori ruled Peru with an iron fist but, in the face of growing opposition, he fled in November 2000 to Japan, where his family is from. It was by fax that he announced that he was relinquishing his mandate. He was extradited from Chile in 2007 and convicted and imprisoned two years later.

Despite his government's 2017 request for "forgiveness," Fujimori has divided Peruvians in a way that few politicians have done in the history of the Andean country of 32 million people.

For some, the man nicknamed "El Chino" (the Chinese) is the man who boosted the country's economic development with his ultra-liberal policies, and successfully fought the guerrillas of the Shining Path (Maoist) and the Tupac Amaru (Guevarist) Revolutionary Movement.

Others remember the corruption scandals and his authoritarian methods, which landed him behind bars for ordering two massacres by a death squad in 1991-1992 as part of the fight against Shining Path.

With AFP

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