National Organization of Women resolution

September 2001

Free Lori Berenson!

WHEREAS, Lori Berenson, an American citizen, was wrongfully imprisoned in Peru in 1995; and

WHEREAS, without legal representation she was given a life sentence by a hooded Peruvian military tribunal; and

WHEREAS, that sentence was nullified in August 2000, but she has now received a 20-year sentence after being retried; and

WHEREAS, double-jeopardy retrials are against Peruvian, as well as U.S. and international laws; and

WHEREAS, the ultra-repressive laws under which her trials have been conducted were put into effect by former President Fujimori, who is now in de facto exile in Japan; and

WHEREAS, major human rights organizations, including the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International, have deplored the injustice of Peru?s secret military trials against civilians accused of treason; and

WHEREAS, large groups of U.S. Senators and Representatives have made strong statements on Lori Berenson?s behalf; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. President is obligated by Title 22 U.S.C. Section 1732 to do everything possible to achieve the release of U.S. citizens wrongfully imprisoned abroad;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW issue a statement of support for Lori Berenson and call for her immediate release and safe passage out of Peru; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call upon the President and the Secretary of State of the United States to immediately exercise their authority to use all diplomatic means possible to achieve the release of this American woman.