Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Human rights of military personnel: a case from Peru

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has referred to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights a case in which a Peruvian soldier was struck in the head with a rifle butt because of poor performance on the firing range. Efforts to seek redress took seven years without success. Details can be found here. For example:
The blow was inflicted with the butt of a gun on the forehead and eye of the victim, which resulted in the loss of visual acuity of the right eye. The Commission concluded in its report that these background facts responding to the pattern of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment occurring within military units, identified by the Ombudsman of Peru, which have their origin in an entrenched and erroneous interpretation of military discipline. The Commission also concluded that the State did not provide effective remedies to the victims and their families, for an official investigation by the competent authorities did not start; no appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the object and purpose of criminal proceedings even though Valdemir Quispialaya Vilcapoma repeatedly denounced the existence of threats against him and against other eyewitnesses; The case was heard by the military courts for nearly seven years; and the process has been an unreasonable duration. In sum, the Commission concluded that the facts in a situation of impunity. [Rough Google translation.]

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