News from Lori's Parents
5 September 2000
This is day 1,742 of Lori's wrongful incarceration in Perú.In this update:
- Lori Berenson's voice to be heard for the first time since sentencing!
- Rev. Jesse Jackson holds press conference in Chicago and participates in press conference in New York vowing support for Lori's release
- Media coverage in United States
- Media coverage in Perú widespread and prejudicial
- Web-master reports over a quarter of a million "hits" in just one day!
- Upcoming events
Lori Berenson's voice to be heard for the first time since sentencing!
On Wednesday, September 6, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now" will play portions of an interview recorded in March 1999 in Socabaya Prison. Amy Goodman is the only journalist who has seen Lori since her imprisonment and this is the only recorded interview with Lori since she was given her life sentence on January 11, 1996. It will be the first time her actual voice will be heard from prison. Lori speaks about the preposterous charges against her, the military "trial," why she can't possibly have a fair civilian trial, issues about Perú, Peruvian prison conditions, and about her hopes. The broadcast can be found online here.
Rev. Jesse Jackson holds press conference in Chicago and participates in press conference in New York vowing support for Lori's release
On Wednesday, August 30, the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a press conference with Rhoda and Mark, Congresswoman Janice D. Schakowsky (D - IL), and famed musical artist and human rights activist Stevie Wonder (see web site www.freelori.org for statement by Rev. Jackson and for Chicago Tribune coverage). Rev. Jackson was hoping to contact President Fujimori, request an audience with him and also an opportunity to meet with Lori. Rev. Jackson said that he would appeal to President Fujimori in the name of humanity, justice and good will to request Lori's release.
On Tuesday, September 5, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D- NY) held a press conference in New York City. She was joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mark, and attorney Thomas Nooter and they urged Lori's release. Rhoda was in Lima with attorney Ramsey Clark.
Media coverage in United States
In addition to their appearance on "Oprah" last week Rhoda and Mark appeared nationally on the CBS Early Show with Bryant Gumbel, CNN with Leon Harris, NBC Home Page, and Fox News. Editorials and "op-eds" on Lori's case appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Columbus Dispatch, and Houston Chronicle, to name a few. Articles this week should appear in Newsweek and Time International.
Media coverage in Perú widespread and prejudicial
As the government of Perú prepares for its farce of an Iranian/Russian-style "show trial" against Lori the media has elevated Lori Berenson's case to be the major news issue. She was front-page headline news for three consecutive days in the pro-government paper Expreso. On just one day last week more than a dozen articles (including editorial and "op-eds") about Lori appeared in that paper. Double-digit article coverage also appeared in the more balanced Gestion and El Comercio as well as in the opposition paper La Republica.
Despite the Supreme Military Court's admission of error in its initial conviction of Lori on grounds of treason and aggravated terrorism and despite its nullification of Lori's life sentence, all four papers, along with radio and TV broadcasts, continue to prejudice Lori by referring to her as a terrorist and discussing what her next sentence might be WHEN she is convicted, not IF she will be convicted. Many Peruvian government officials and jurists, along with the country's "public defender"/ombudsman continue to prejudice Lori.
Web-master reports over a quarter of a million "hits" in just one day!
The web-master for the Committee to Free Lori Berenson's www.freelori.org web site reported that one day last week more than a quarter of a million viewers looked at the web site. We are currently backlogged with over 1,200 unanswered emails. Ken Dubberly, the web-master, and Gail Taylor, the national organizer for the Committee, report similar backlogs.
Note -- we all very much appreciate your kind remarks and support. Please accept our apologies for not being able to respond promptly to your emails but must clear the backlogs first.
Rhoda and Mark B.
The Chapel Hill demonstration to free Lori will occur on next Wednesday, September 6 at 12:00 until 1:00 PM in front of the Chapel Hill downtown Post Office. There will be a humongous sign and hopefully a large crowd because we expect the media to cover this event. So please come and join us, and spread the word!
Contact: Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Free Lori office 202-548-8480
Regional weekly call-ins beginning this week. Stay tuned for announcements on other regions joining in.
Regional Coordinators in Ohio and New Jersey are kicking off a weekly call-in campaign this Thursday and Friday. All Ohioans are asked to phone the White House hotline: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 on Thursday, September 7. Others in the mid-west are welcome to join their activities. Contact: Judith at email@example.com
New Jersey residents are asked to do the same on Friday, September 8. New Yorkers are welcome to join this Northeast regional event. Call the White House hotline. Contact: Stephanie at Esjaykip@aol.com.
Use the following talking points:
- a. Ask the president to use Title 22 U.S.C. Section 1732 which directs him to take all necessary steps, short of going to war, to secure the release of an American citizen "if it appears to be wrong". And Lori Berenson's imprisonment certainly does appear to be wrong.
- b. Remind the president that 221 members of the House and 40 Senators recently signed a letter calling upon him to use his powers to help free Lori.
- c. Lori must be freed and allowed to come home, before her health deteriorates any further.