Government failure to prosecute offenders
Other Names: Government pardoning of convicted human rights offenders
Arbitrary reduction of sentences for offenders after conviction
Inadequate punishment of international criminals in their own countries
Official amnesty for killers
Incidence: In Argentina, for example, the government passed a series of decrees pardoning almost all those convicted as responsible for human rights abuses involving the forced disappearance of an estimated 15,000 people during the military dictatorship's operations in the 1970s and 1980s. Several Italian politicians accused in corruption scandals were pardoned in 1992 by emergency parliamentary decrees which decriminalized offences involving financing political parties with illegally-raised funds.
Counter Claim: The wholesale pardoning of killers may churn stomachs, but an amnesty makes political sense. In the case of South Africa it helped secure a settlement. It is an important option in other regional conflicts.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 16.02.1999 – 00:00 CET