Information on the treatment of journalists by the Fujimori government [PER29621.E]

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report Attacks on the Press 1992 states that "no one felt the fallout more than journalists" following Fujimori's proclaimed self-coup in April 1992 (119). The Peruvian press was submitted to "censorship, fear, and detention" through "government decrees and selective attacks" against members of the media (ibid.).

The 1993 CPJ's Attacks on the Press report underlines that press freedoms were severely curtailed as a result of Fujimori's war on terrorism and the dictatorship he installed (139). "Several journalists were jailed and newsrooms were occupied by troops" (ibid.). Others were threatened, harassed, sued for defamation or suspected of supporting terrorism. The antiterrorist measures decreed by President Fujimori and enacted into law by the 1992 congress made pretrial detention mandatory with no bail, thus posing a threat to journalists investigating terrorists groups (ibid.).

Reporters Sans Frontières 1994 Report mentions that "at least 21 journalists were imprisoned in Peru on 1 January 1994" (250). Accusations against journalists ranged from subversion to participation with, or having links to, a terrorist organization. Numerous instances of television, radio and written press reporters being physically attacked, harassed and threatened are reported (ibid.).

Reporters Sans Frontières 1995 Report states that "harassed by politicians, the army and drug runners, over-curious or over-critical Peruvian journalists also face imprisonment in the name of the fight against terrorism" (228).

Reporters Sans Frontières 1996 Report, reports that "a law granted an amnesty to state officials who committed crimes and torture during the 15-year struggle against guerrillas," insuring impunity to the individuals responsible for killing journalists (146).

The Web version of the 1997 CPJ's report Attacks on the Press states that "in the aftermath of Peru's hostage crisis..., the contentious relationship between the press and the government of President Alberto Fujimori took a turn for the worse."

Television and radio reported stories on links between members of the army and drug traffickers and on the torture and death of intelligence officers to prevent them, according to a former military intelligence officer, "from making public the existence of a secret plan to assassinate several of the country's top journalists" (ibid.). Baruch Ivner, the Israel-born owner of the television station Canal 2, lost ownership of his station after he agreed to air "conversations taped by government security forces who were spying on journalists" (ibid.).

The attached May 1998 Action Alert from the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) says that "the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has expressed concern over increasing press freedom abuses in Peru and has asked President Alberto Fujimori to investigate charges that reporters have been killed in recent days by 'government people'" (15 May 1998).

For additional information on the treatment of journalists in Peru, please consult Response to Information Request PER23210.E of 4 March 1996 and its attachments available at regional documentation centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 1997. Attacks on the Press 1997. [Internet] (Accessed 24 June 1998)

_____. March 1994. Attacks on the Press in 1993.

_____. March 1992. Attacks on the Press 1992.

International Freedom of Expression (IFEX) Action Alert. 15 May 1998. "WAN Protests Press Freedom Abuses in Peru." [Internet] (Accessed 25 June 1998)
Reporters Sans Frontières. 1996.

Freedom of the Press Throughout the World: 1996 Report.


Freedom of the Press Throughout the World: 1995 Report.


Freedom of the Press Throughout the World: 1994 Report.


International Freedom of Expression (IFEX) Action Alert. 15 May 1998. "WAN Protests Press Freedom Abuses in Peru."

[Internet] (Accessed 25 June 1998)

Additional Sources Consulted

Index on Censorship [London]. 1994-1998.

United Nations. 1992. Committee Against Torture. Consideration of reports submitted by states parties under Article 19 of the Convention: Peru (IN: Committee Against Torture: reports. no. 7, Add.15).