UN human rights experts Monday issued a statement expressing deep concern about the reported repression, killings, arrests and disappearances of demonstrators in Peru. Experts are also concerned about reports of violence against media personnel covering the protests. They are also worried about peaceful demonstrators being labeled as terrorists because of the potential stigma and conceivable prosecution of demonstrators on terrorism-related charges.Experts expressed these concerns in an attempt to start a conversation to end Peru’s current political crisis. Experts stated, “Peru’s democracy is facing a credibility crisis which can only be resolved through genuine dialogue, involving the population and taking into account their aspirations for reform.”While expressing their concerns, experts also stressed the importance of accountability. The experts urged the Peruvian government to take accountability for any human rights violations that have occurred. The experts noted that suspected violations have disproportionately affected human rights defenders, peasant communities and indigenous peoples.Demonstrations arose in December 2022 following the removal of Peru’s former President Pedro Castillo after he was accused of attempting to dissolve Congress. Protests have since demanded the closure of Congress, organization regarding general elections, government reform and the release of Castillo. In response to the demonstrations, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency for a month that has now twice been renewed.Since protests begun, 59 civilians and 7 security forces members have been killed, with another 1,301 injured. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested and there are allegations of at least one enforced disappearance of a protestor.
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