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UN's top human rights official 'satisfied' at move by Peru to address violations

UN's top human rights official 'satisfied' at move by Peru to address violations

The top United Nations human rights official has expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by authorities in Peru to comply with recommendations from several international bodies that sought the redress of human rights violations committed during the previous Government of President Alberto Fujimori.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, said yesterday the 3 January ruling by Peru's Constitutional Court concerning the unconstitutional nature of several legal norms designed to combat terrorism were a first step in complying with those recommendations.

He also noted that the fight against terrorism must respect fundamental rights, including the right to defence, the right to be judged by a competent, independent and impartial jury, the right not to be tortured, and the right to the presumption of innocence.

Mr. Vieira de Mello left Geneva for Brussels today, where he is holding meetings with the European Commission and members of the European Parliament on the first stop of his European tour. Tomorrow, he will travel to Paris for his first official visit to France, where he will meet with President Jacques Chirac and other senior officials.