PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 46/16/98
6 October 1998
Further information on UA 279/97 (AMR 46/34/97, 20 August 1997) and follow-up
(AMR 46/37/97, 22 September 1997) - Fear for safety
PERUElba Greta Minaya Calle, judge [f]
Peruvian judge Elba Greta Minaya Calle continues to be a target of intimidation.
Amnesty International believes the latest incident experienced by judge Minaya
is one of a series which add up to a systematic campaign of intimidation against
her for the independent exercise of her professional duties, and in particular
for upholding the rule of law and the defence of human rights. The organization
fears for her safety.
According to a complaint filed before the authorities by the Lima Bar
Association, (Colegio de Abogados de Lima), on 22 September 1998 the car in
which judge Minaya was being chauffered in Lima, the capital, was forced to
stop by a car with tinted windows. At the time judge Minaya was being accompanied
by a bodyguard, assigned to her by the National Police of Peru, Policía Nacional
del Perú (PNP), and by a colleague.
A man who got out of the second car approached judge Minaya’s bodyguard and
identified himself as a police officer based at the Cotabambas Police Station
(Delegación de Cotabambas). He claimed to be engaged in “surveillance”
(“seguimiento”), but offered no further reason for stopping the judge’s car.
Due to the series of past threats suffered by judge Minaya, on 29 September
a complaint about the incident was filed by the Lima Bar Association before
the General Inspectorate of the PNP (Inspectoría General de la PNP).
The latest incident experienced by judge Minaya comes at a time when the
government of President Alberto Fujimori is increasingly being criticized for
undermining democracy and the rule of law (Estado de Derecho) in Peru. Critics
claim that Peru is being ruled by “a civic-military government” (“un gobierno
cívico-militar”). The executive power, on occasions directly and on others
with the connivance of the legislature, are accused of interfering in the
decision-making processes of the judiciary, often in violation of the
Constitution and the upholding of human rights. As a result, for example, three
Constitutional Tribunal judges (Tribunal Constitucional) were dismissed by
Congress in 1997 for declaring it unconstitutional for President Fujimori to
stand for a third term of office.
Against this background, and despite repeated attempts to threaten judge Minaya
or obstruct her judicial decisions (see Urgent Action 279/97, AI Index AMR
46/34/97, 20 August 1997), she has steadfastly sought to maintain her
independence of action.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- reminding the authorities that judge Elba Greta Minaya Calle has repeatedly
faced threats and other acts of intimidation for her attempts to uphold the
rule of law and defend human rights;