Human rights organizations and the Legal Defense Institute of Peru denounced on Monday the approval of a bill giving police forces legal protection while using armament during operations.
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The Peruvian Congress presented the bill N° 31012 to parliament in September of 2019. The legal body approved the law project on March 16. Congress alleges the bill is valid due to COVID-19 spreading in the Andean nation.
The main reason for the rejection is the possible legalization of policy brutality. The law mentions the possibility of using police force in an “emergency ” or “legit self-defense”, but does not specify the circumstances of those contexts.
Peruvian Ombudsman Office pointed out that the bill “does not fit to constitutional parameters” and allows killing, injuring and other abuses because it leaves the interpretation of the situation on agents subjectivity.
"The Police Protection Act does not conform to constitutional parameters. The need to facilitate their work should be brought into line with the constitutional framework and international treaties. "
"The purpose of this law is to guarantee the efficiency of the service provided by police personnel in the fulfillment of their constitutional function when they use their weapons or means of defense in a regulated manner and thus enjoy the legal protection of the State", states article 2 of the law.
Legal Defense Institute of Peru considers the law is unconstitutional and jeopardizes citizenship safety. According to the Institute, the bill “takes advantage of the current crisis and presents the danger of protecting bad police elements with impunity."
IDL also points the bill forces judges to interpret and apply the legal norm on the officer’s behalf. This condition limits the civil population's right to a legal and fair defense.
"We reject the unconstitutional Police Protection Act and demand its immediate repeal"
Several leftist political parties and social organizations also rejected the bill. The Communist Party of Peru - Red Fatherland emitted a communication in which denounce: "quarantine and social immobility are a necessity and cannot be an excuse to promote impunity for acts of disproportionate violence by the forces of law and order".
According to several social organizations, Peruvian people's disobedience on restrictive governmental measures is caused by administrative mismanaging on public services, markets, and supplies delivery.