Colombia’s Legal framework for Peace “sends a dangerous message” to players in the armed conflict said Amnesty International at the opening of the Human Rights Council of the U.N. in Geneva, newswire AFP reported on Wednesday.
At the U.N.’s 47-nation Human Rights Council whose month-long session opened Monday, Amnesty International expressed its concern about how human rights would be protected in the course of the peace negotiations being held between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas.
“To get true and lasting peace in Colombia, full respect to human rights and the implementation of effective methods to put an end to impunity have to be the backbone of the negotiations between the parties,” said a spokesperson from Amnesty International.
The Legal Framework for Peace has spurred criticism from groups who are concerned it will provide impunity for those guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the 48-year-old armed conflict which has ravaged Colombia and resulted in thousands of murders and kidnappings, assassinations and bombs.
“The newly approved Legal Framework for Peace and also the intent to reinforce the country’s military strength, significantly weakens the fight against impunity in Colombia and sends a dangerous mesage to the parties of the conflict that despite the peace negotiations they can continue to abuse human rights with impunity,” said the Amnesty spokesperson.
Also concerned about the implications of the Legal Framework for Peace was the Colombian Commission of Jurists, speaking at the same event they expressed the concern “that before the start of the negotiations the Legal Framework for Peace had been approved, a law which permits the state to renounce the criminal investigations of crimes committed by the guerrillas and members of the armed forces.”
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, said that the Colombian situation deserved the attention of her office.