House of Representative Talking Points
When contacting your Representative, you may want to refer to the following points:
- Lori Berenson, a U.S. citizen, has been wrongfully imprisoned for over seven years in violation of international law and, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in violation of her human rights. She has been held under inhumane conditions and her health suffers because of this.
- In April 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights unanimously ruled that Lori Berenson's civilian trial was lacking in fairness and due process and that Perú failed to substantiate proof of guilt. The Commission declared Perú must totally restore Lori's rights and compensate her for economic, moral, and psychological damages and that Perú must completely overhaul the illegal anti-terrorism laws under which Lori was twice tried. Perú has refused to do any of this.
- In January 2003, Perú's Constitutional Court struck down the law regarding secret military trials for civilians. Perú gives the impression its laws are now in line with international standards. This is false. Until Perú strikes down the laws under which Lori had her civilian trial its laws will not be in line with international standards.
- Perú must be told it cannot continue to avoid complying with its international legal obligations at the expense of a wrongfully held U.S. citizen.
- Perú wants a special bilateral trade treaty. I urge you to make it clear to the Peruvian government that, until there is resolution of Lori Berenson's case, it cannot expect to continue enjoying friendly bilateral relations.
I would appreciate hearing from you on this matter.